Covid has strengthened local cohesion, and this should be built on post-Covid. Cohesion is built on local projects, where needs are best spotted by those on the ground not by central government.
Typically community action which leads to and supports these vital local projects comes from those with time, but in most cases projects need the kind of funding which is unlikely to be forthcoming in the near-future fiscal climate. Money is needed, but it isn’t easily available and centralised administration structures mean it isn’t often optimally distributed to those projects that both need it the most, and which provide the greatest social benefit.
On the other side of the equation my job as a chartered financial planner has shown me large numbers of people sitting on money, with incomes that exceed their needs. These people are usually older and often suffer from loneliness. They are the kind of people who have ¬£30,000 in premium bonds, but who if they won the top prize wouldn’t have a clue what to do with it. They do not want to lose access to capital in case they ever need care, but they really don’t need the interest that money in the bank generates.
The challenge is to find a way to funnel money to the best local projects that involve the community at community level, with that money to come from a source where it will hardly be missed and where taking it might actually have a positive effect.
The government also needs money.