Introduction

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The journey that led to this book began in April 1999, in Bridgefields, Blackburn, Lancashire. Bridgefields was not seen as a neighbourhood of choice for many people. Its residents faced the stigma attached to their address. This place was a story of decline almost since the birth of the estate in 1974, when it was the last public housing to be built in the town. The concentration of poverty had caused neighbourhood problems. The effect of poverty and the effect of place had become intertwined. The area-based programmes and New Labour’s policies are described. This book particularly presents a view of the areas before the New Labour government’s policies had begun to have an impact, and then again two years later, when changes had begun to be made. An overview of the chapters included in the book is given as well.

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