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Welfare Reform on the Web (November 2004): Community Regeneration and Development - UK

AN EARLY PROGRESS REPORT ON THE NEW DEAL FOR COMMUNITIES PROGRAMME

Committee of Public Accounts

London: TSO, 2004 (House of Commons papers, session 2003/04; HC 492)

Committee took evidence on the place of the New Deal for Communities (NDC) programme in wider efforts to regenerate deprived communities, engagement with the community and the effectiveness and sustainability of the programme. The NDC scheme is one of more than 50 regeneration initiatives, and better co-ordination is needed to reduce duplication. Care must be taken to ensure that NDC programmes do not simply displace problems, such as crime and disorder, into neighbouring communities. There has been mistrust between NDC boards and local authorities in some areas, and clearer guidance is needed to delineate local councils' roles. Regional Government Offices also need to ensure that NDC funds are not being used to replace existing resources supplied to local statutory agencies. Finally, NDC partnerships need to begin to consider how successful initiatives can be sustained once programme funding has ended.

GETTING CITIZENS INVOLVED: COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION IN NEIGHBOURHOOD RENEWAL

National Audit Office

London: TSO, 2004 (House of Commons Papers, session 2003/04; HC1070)

The report evaluates the Single Community Programme which provides government resources to local community and voluntary sector organisations to support self-help activity and networks of community empowerment groups which have representation on Local Strategic Partnerships, the bodies designed to link service providers, councillors and the voluntary and community sector. Findings show that:

  • thanks to simple grant application procedures, the programme has successfully delivered funds to support some 25,000 self-help and community group projects in England's most deprived areas;
  • after a slow start, Community Empowerment Networks have begun to establish themselves;
  • community Empowerment Networks are exerting influence by forming links with service providers at a neighbourhood level, complementing their wider work with Local Strategic Partnerships.
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