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Welfare Reform on the Web (July 2004): Community Regeneration and Developemnt - UK

CALL TO EMPOWER NEIGHBOURHOODS

P. Wintour

The Guardian, June 17th 2004, p.14

Community groups should take on some of the powers of town halls to reinvigorate local government, two government ministers have proposed. Nick Raynsford, responsible for local and regional government, and Yvette Cooper, another minister in the deputy prime minister's Whitehall department, both suggest new neighbourhood bodies "could be handed responsibility for local parks, the street scene, community safety and local regeneration".

CHANGEUP: CAPACITY BUILDING AND INFRASTRUCTURE FRAMEWORK FOR THE VOLUNTARY AND COMMUNITY SECTOR

Home Office

2004

Capacity Building is about ensuring that organisations have the skills, knowledge, structures and resources to realise their full potential. ChangeUp's aim is that by 2014 the needs of frontline voluntary and community organisations will be met by support that is available nationwide, structured for maximum efficiency, offering excellent provision, accessible to all, truly reflecting and promoting diversity, and sustainably funded. ChangeUp describes the basic architecture of support that frontline organisations need.

GROWTH IN PUBLIC SECTOR HELPS TO PLUG REGIONAL GAP

D. Turner

Financial Times, June 7th 2004, p.2

The burgeoning public sector is "the main provider of high-quality jobs" in many parts of Britain, according to a consultancy that advises the government. Without its contribution "productivity gaps" between regions "would be enormously wider", according to Mark Hepworth, head of Local Futures. He was commenting on research showing that in some rural areas or de-industrialised areas, well over half the "knowledge economy" jobs are in the public sector, suggesting that the public sector is having to prop up parts of the economy in many parts of Britain. Mr Hepworth suggested the figures reflected the "breakdown of manufacturing economies across the country".

PEOPLE, PLACES AND PROSPERITY: DELIVERING GOVERNMENT PROGRAMMES AT LOCAL LEVEL

Audit Commission

Audit Commission Publications, 2004

The large array of central government initiatives and the complex funding and partnership arrangements underpinning them severely hamper their success at a local level. The report proposes a dual approach which would allow communities, local leaders and policy-makers to use a new local delivery framework:

  • local area agreements would set out in advance what benefits local people could expect from special initiatives (such as regeneration initiatives) that lie outside mainstream services;
  • local public service agreements would be re-focused to ensure that they are concerned with mainstream service provision and that they specify the outcomes and standards that communities can expect from that provision.
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