WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
Society is by definition a complex and dynamic construct which is experienced differently by each individual. In that context, this chapter can give only a limited insight into the social shape of the region and the challenges for policy makers and individuals alike.
Whilst overall, the region has relatively low reliance on benefits, some urban and rural pockets have a far higher reliance on state benefits, and may prove especially vulnerable as the Welfare Reform Bill progresses through Parliament to Royal Assent.
Research indicates that as a region we may be well placed to benefit from Big Society, with strong levels of civic participation and volunteering. However, how the Big Society develops in areas in the South West, and what the impact on it will be as a result of widespread changes across all policy areas, is unclear at this stage.