As the other New Deal programmes assist individuals, this one is collective. Key to the government’s strategy to tackle multiple deprivation in the most deprived neighbourhoods, NDC about giving local people resources to tackle their problems in what the government emphasis is “an intensive and co-ordinated way”.
Like some other initiatives it grew out of the work of the Social Exclusion Unit and, specifically, its report, Bringing Britain Together: A National Strategy for Neighbourhood Renewal. In launching the New Deal for Communities, Tony Blair said it was “a massive and desperately needed investment programme”.
Local partnerships through which the New Deal works must address five key issues: unemployment and poor prospects; improving health; tackling crime; raising educational achievement; and housing and the physical environment.
The partnerships are formed between local people, community and voluntary organisations, public agencies, local authorities, and business in neighbourhoods of 1,000-4,000 people. Stress is placed on harnessing the active involvement of local people not just during the programme but after as well. Partnerships work with national, local and regional agencies and service deliverers and are supposed to express and symbolise the government’s emphasis on “joined-up thinking for joined-up problems”.
The first 17 partnerships were allocated £774 million over 10 years and the second round of bids for 22 partnerships brought the spending up to £2 billion over a decade.