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In this week’s newsletter:

  • What is causing the housing crisis?
  • How safer streets can lead to safer seats
  • Can the UK reach space?

Striking the balance to build. Britain’s housing crisis and the key question of “why can’t we just build more houses?” may finally have an answer. With commentators and policymakers alike searching for the cause of Britain’s housing crisis, a recent poll conducted by Ben Ansell and Wealthpol found that only 37% of people support building new homes “in your local area.” Britain isn’t building because people don’t want to. With recent YouGov polling placing housing as one of the top 5 priorities for voters aged 18-49, the Prime Minister faces a balancing act of appealing to the ‘not quite young anymore’ millennials who want to own a home but are still living with mum and dad, versus older Conservatives who would rather not build  

Safer streets, safer seats. An independent evaluation of the first round of the Government’s Safer Streets Fund has identified successes in communities benefiting from the grant. The report found a significant impact: +7 percentage points on residents’ likelihood to think that local police were doing a good or excellent job. A recent YouGov poll showed 65% of people believe the Government is handling the issue of crime in the UK badly. With red wall voters more likely to have a hard-line approach to crime, this issue should be a top priority for the Home Secretary before the next election. Our research suggests that crime trends can be reversed by empowering communities to take back control of their local spaces, extending CCTV networks, and reviving Neighbourhood Watch schemes.

Space. The, almost, final frontier. The historic Cornwall rocket launch sadly fell short of reaching its target orbit. After the launch cost investors $120 million (roughly £98.35 million) in the first three quarters of 2022, the Government remains committed to space programmes with £1.84 billion in funding from November 2022. However, the ESA programme’s support does not come without its critics –many argue that Britain’s space policy is disjointed, unclear, and lacking coherence. For space to become the true final frontier, strategically aligning policy and financing, as Onward’s Rocket Science report argues, will bring us one step closer to achieving ‘science superpower’ status.

Emission Possible. In his ‘Mission Zero’ report, Independent Review of Net Zero, Chris Skidmore MP said that the Net Zero transition represents a “historic opportunity” which can put the UK “at an economic advantage globally”. With a projected revenue of £41.2 billion in 2020, low-carbon enterprises and their supply chains in the UK already employ roughly 400,000 people according to officials. The report cites two Onward papers – Qualifying for the Race to Net Zero and Greening the Giants – while twenty recommendations from Onward’s Getting to Zero programme are also included.  This marks an exciting moment in the building of the UK’s green economy but it still has a long way to go to achieve net zero status.

News and media

Senior Researcher, Francois Valentin, joined Peter Cardwell on Talk TV to discuss our new report, Good Neighbours

Good Neighbours also landed on page 3 of the Saturday edition of The Times, as well as securing coverage by The Mail Online, and City A.M.

William Hague referenced the five-year window to secure investment in green technologies set out in our Green Jobs, Red Wall research in his latest column.

Anne Applebaum cited The Kids Aren’t Alright in an article for The Times exploring the threats to democracy. 

Onward events continued to make headlines throughout the week, appearing in The Times, POLITICO, and the Daily Express.

Upcoming events

Catapulting Productivity: How can Technology and Innovation Centres Strengthen UK Businesses?

The UK hosts some of the world’s most innovative thinkers and prestigious institutions. It has the opportunity to become a leading figure in the future of technology and innovation by brokering connections between businesses and universities.  But we need to be clear on the role we want these bodies to play. 

This event dives into the crucial role that technology and innovation centres play in our science ecosystem and explores how they can be improved and reformed. This panel will consider:

  • How should they be incentivised? 
  • Who should staff them? 
  • And what should their primary focus be?

If you wish to attend, sign up here.

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Connecting to Opportunity: Delivering Digital Infrastructure to Boost Economic Growth

Digital connectivity might be the key to Levelling Up and infrastructure alone won’t be enough to realise the benefits of connectivity. Realising these benefits means modernising the UK’s digital infrastructure, rolling out new projects in remote areas, and boosting coverage in our towns and cities.

We are thrilled to be joined by the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, the Rt Hon Michelle Donelan MP for a panel event to set out her vision for digital connectivity.

Joined by leading experts, this event dives into the crucial role that digital technology and innovation centres play in levelling up the nation.

If you wish to attend, sign up here.

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