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See the latest news from SQW Consulting below, or click on the archive links to view news from previous years.

SQW was commissioned by the Commission for Rural Communities (CRC) to research evidence on the rurally distinctive features of initiatives to promote financial inclusion. The report presents a series of good practice case studies on Promoting Financial Inclusion in Rural Areas, and we provided an evaluation of those factors which appear to contribute to both the success and the failure of such initiatives, in order to inform both funders and delivery bodies. The report was developed as part of the Commission's programme on securing social justice, and builds on research that the CRC published in 2006 on rural disadvantage. To read the report, click here.

Promoting Financial Inclusion in Rural Areas (420KB) >>

SQW was commissioned to undertake an evaluation of the Scottish Executive (now known as the Scottish Government)'s £375 million Quality of Life Fund, focusing on the process and operation of the Fund. The evaluation also considered how this funding has contributed to the development of Community Planning and Local Outcome Agreements across Scotland. The Quality of Life Fund has been provided to all 32 local authorities from 2002-06 under the two themes of improving the local environment and increasing opportunities for children and young people. Our evaluation involved a survey of all local authorities and a series of consultation-based case studies. Whilst the Fund has been approved until March 2008, this evaluation will be used to inform the Scottish Executive's upcoming Spending Review for post 2008. To read the report, click here
Winchester City Council has approved SQW's Economy and Employment Land Study as part of the evidence base for consultation on the Local Development Framework "Core Strategy". SQW undertook a strategic review of the direction of the local economy and prepared an Employment Land Review (ELR) for the district in compliance with government guidance. Cambridge Econometrics provided "baseline" and "baseline plus" employment projections to inform both elements of the work. Stakeholder workshops were held at the vision and options stages of the study to provide opportunities for wider consultation. SQW highlighted some fundamental options around the future economic direction of Winchester town which has significant potential for economic growth in addition to the impetus of major development in the South Hampshire growth area. The report illustrated a range of spatial options for the distribution of estimated employment land need with differential shifts to the three market subareas of the district as an input to the issues and options consultation on the Core Strategy. To read the report, click here.
SQW Group has announced that it is expanding its services in Energy, Environment & Sustainable Development. The Group has appointed several senior consultants with specialist expertise in the renewable energy market and the delivery of carbon reduction and waste management programmes for local authorities and the private sector. SQW Group has also marked the launch of its new Viewpoint Series of publications with a 'thoughtpiece' report on 'Carbon Reduction - obligation and opportunity', which discusses how public sector bodies can both implement carbon reduction obligations and support sustainable economic development.

We have marked the launch of our new Viewpoint Series of publications with a 'thoughtpiece' report on Carbon reduction - obligation and opportunity.

The aim of the Viewpoint Series is to share our thoughts on key topical issues in sustainable economic development, public policy, innovation and enterprise and provide suggestions for strategic and practical solutions. Climate change is clearly emerging as the greatest challenge facing UK and international governments in the 21st century and the energy, environment and sustainable development agenda is a top priority for our public and private sector clients. Our Carbon Reduction report suggests how local authorities, regional agencies and other organisations can turn the obligations resulting from targets into opportunities.

For more information or to provide feedback on this report, please contact Geoff White, Director, SQW Consulting on gwhite@sqw.co.uk To sign up for further publications in the Viewpoint Series, please contact Karen Laurence on viewpoint@sqw.co.uk

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