Steve Griffiths has been writing profiles of inequality, poverty and social exclusion for local authorities and PCTs for sixteen years, using small area mapping and covering the full range of issues and how they interrelate: income, health, housing, employment to name just four. His profiles have ranged from Manchester and Rotherham in the north, through Walsall and Wolverhamption in the Midlands, to eight London boroughs. Always, there has been a little local assessment of Incapacity Benefit set in a national policy context. Always, the findings have been worrying, with significant individual hardship, maladministration and increasingly punitive policy. It’s time to get to grips with it.
Steve Griffiths has a welfare rights background. Between 1995 and 2003 he wrote research reports about how supported housing might be paid for and how it worked, mainly for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. This led to consultancy for the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, the Department of Health,
and the (now) DWP - he also worked with the Treasury and the Home Office on the implementation of the Supporting People programme. He has become increasingly interested in health inequality and its links to other policy agendas, and particularly integrated approaches to prevention and early intervention.