This report sets out ‘a series of proposals to sustain the community spirit we have seen during the coronavirus pandemic.’ It asserts that a new era, which is now beginning, of economic and social policy must address the UK’s regional and social inequality by ‘putting communities at the heart of policy making.’ It also sets out proposals for a new social covenant that centres on a vision for a more local, more human, less bureaucratic, less centralised society in which people are supported and empowered to play an active role in their neighbourhoods.
The concept of the ‘hub’ is vital to the emergence of the new, decentralised, anti-silo social model we need. Instead of vertical hierarchies reaching up to Whitehall, we need horizontal networks, connected at nodes in the community which help people stitch together the combination of services and opportunities they need. Another vital variant on the theme is the Family Hub, which brings together prenatal care, birth registration, health visiting, parenting classes and other services for parents and families in a single building. The 2019 Conservative Manifesto committed to establishing a network of Family Hubs across the country. This work should be expedited.