A policy giving councils financial incentives to hit challenging
targets has brought significant improvements but failed to boost
relations between central and local government.
That was the verdict of an interim report from an evaluation of
local public service agreements (LPSAs), commissioned by the Office
of the Deputy Prime Minister.
LPSAs involve the government giving councils grants and financial
freedoms to pursue challenging “stretch” targets with
rewards for meeting them.
The report says 40 per cent of targets have been met or are
expected to be met, a quarter are likely to be missed with
uncertainty about the rest, though even missed targets have brought
However, it says government departments have seen the policy as a
way meeting their own objectives, rather than helping councils meet
local priorities, while many promised financial freedoms have not
It adds: “There is little evidence that LPSAs have led to a
more mature relationship between central and local
Report from www.odpm.gov.uk