Article

‘‘Tinkering at a local level’: Unemployment, State intervention and community agency in Ferguslie Park, Paisley c. 1972-1977’

Citation

Wright V (2018) ‘‘Tinkering at a local level’: Unemployment, State intervention and community agency in Ferguslie Park, Paisley c. 1972-1977’. Scottish Labour History, 53, pp. 192-211.

Abstract
In 1971 Ferguslie Park in Paisley was designated a beneficiary of the Labour government’s 1969 Community Development Project (CDP). This initiative, one of the first of many interventions in ‘deprived’ communities in the UK after the ‘rediscovery’ of poverty in the 1960s, was motivated by attempts to solve the apparently intractable problems of high unemployment, material want and poor housing conditions through an ethos of ‘self-help’. The emphasis was on local solutions led by the residents. This article considers how residents attempted to overcome the ‘marginalisation’ of their community through the establishment of a co-operative workshop with the aim of addressing the high level of unemployment prevalent in Ferguslie Park. This local initiative highlights the main tension apparent in the CDP as a whole: the need for structural change at a national level, including a radical rethinking of policy objectives, especially in relation to the post-1945 state commitment to full employment, as opposed to ‘tinkering at a local level’ and making individuals and communities responsible for creating their own employment in small scale local projects.

Journal
Scottish Labour History: Volume 53

StatusPublished
FundersUniversity of Glasgow
Publication date01/11/2018
Date accepted by journal01/08/2018
ISSN1472-6041
eISSN1472-6041