England & Wales

Welfare Reform: impact, practical strategies and alternatives for local government


The current programme of welfare reform changes is already having a significant impact on local government and the communities they serve. Casework for councillors is growing rapidly. The ‘localisation’ of council tax benefit and responsibility for implementing housing benefit changes are two examples of reforms that are impacting on residents, council services, budgets and local economies. Universal Credit is beginning to be rolled out.

This seminar sets the context for the current reform programme and goes on to offer delegates an expert insight and the tools to understand the impact of welfare changes on individuals, groups and communities. The speakers will challenge some of the myths about the benefits system popularised in the media. The final session considers alternatives to the current model being shaped in Britain and whether alternative models (for example, in Scandinavia) might offer a better way forward.

Delegates will receive, as part of their delegate pack, a number of specialist articles and research findings on welfare reform; including a copy of a special issue of the journal Local Economy on welfare reform and labour market activation.


09:15-09:45  Registration and refreshments

09:45-10:00  Welcome and Introductions; Alan Waters, Learning and Development Manager, LGIU and Andrew Jones, South Bank University

10:00-10:45  Social Security in Britain: An Historical Perspective; Andrew Jones, South Bank University

10:45-11:40  The Roll-Out of Universal Credit: Overview; Gareth Morgan, Ferret Information Systems

11:40-11:55  Refreshment break

11:55-12:50  The impacts of localising Council Tax Support; New Policy Institute

12:50-13:25  Lunch

13:25-14:25  Case Studies:  Winners and Losers in the Reforms; Gareth Morgan, Ferret Information Systems

14:25-15:10  British Social Security Reforms in International Perspective: Is There a Better Way? Andrew Jones, South Bank University

15:10-15:30  Plenary: Where Next? What Now for Local Government? Discussion and next steps

15:30  Close

This programme is correct at time of publication, but programme content may be altered without notice to reflect speaker changes which are beyond our control.

  • Andrew Jones, Director of the Local Economy Policy Unit, London South Bank University and Editor, Local Economy
  • Gareth Morgan, Managing Director and Founder of Ferret Information Systems
  • Hannah Aldridge, New Policy Institute
  • Alan Waters, Learning and Development Manager LGIU
Who should attend?
  • Councillors and council officers interested in understanding and assessing the impact of welfare reform changes on individuals, communities, council budgets and services.
  • Charities, voluntary organisations, and trade unionists  with an interest and involvement in welfare reform.