Local groups gain partnership guidance

Local residents, community groups and businesses have been
issued guidance this week aimed at helping them work with public
sector agencies to tackle social exclusion and neighbourhood

The guidance, for and about local strategic partnerships, offers
practical advice on dealing with crime, health, housing, and
education in partnership with local communities.

Partnerships will be set up in each council area and will
deliver the government’s neighbourhood renewal strategy at a local
level, and implement community strategies.

The guidance coincides with the launch of the government’s
neighbourhood renewal unit, headed by former head of regeneration
at Lewisham Council Joe Montgomery.

The unit will be responsible for overseeing and co-ordinating
the implementation of the neighbourhood renewal strategy. It will
be supported by neighbourhood renewal teams who will co-ordinate
regional activity and administer regeneration funding, including
the neighbourhood renewal fund.

The fund – £200 million this year, £300 million in
2002-3 and £400 million in 2003-4 – provides new money for
councils in the 88 most deprived areas to narrow the gap between
them and the rest of England. An effective local strategic
partnership will become a condition of receipt of money from the

Minister at the Department of the Environment, Transport and the
Regions Beverley Hughes told delegates at a Local Government
Association conference last month that there was also a case for
using some of the fund “to help with support apparatus” of
partnerships in the early stages. The community empowerment fund
will provide a further £36 million over three years to support
community and voluntary sector involvement in local strategic
partnerships in the same 88 areas.

Launching the guidance, local government minister Hilary
Armstrong said: “Many parts of the public, private, voluntary and
community sectors are already working well together to tackle
complex social, economic, and environmental issues. We want local
strategic partnerships to build on this.

“Crucially, the partnerships will give local people a greater
say in the changes affecting their communities.”

Local Strategic Partnerships from 0870 1226236 or www.local-regions.detr.gov.uk

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