Local partnerships must cover all

Regional government offices, the benefits agency, and the
regional development agency are involved in only four out of ten
local strategic partnerships, compared with 93 per cent involvement
from the community and voluntary sector, new findings published
have revealed.

Head of social affairs, health and housing at the Local
Government Association John Ransford criticised the
under-representation of government offices and agencies responsible
for social security on partnerships at an LGA conference on
promoting social inclusion.

Calling for all stakeholders to become more involved, he said:
“The lowest figure for involvement was government offices for the
region. But this is an emerging picture. This is moving all the

An LGA survey of local authority approaches to social inclusion
found that three quarters of the 295 councils in England and Wales
who responded have agreed social inclusion as a corporate
responsibility for their council, and 71 per cent have established,
or are in the process of establishing, a local strategic

The survey shows that local businesses are involved in two thirds
of LSPs, and almost two-fifths of local authorities reported a
programme or strategy for working with business to tackle social
exclusion in their area.

Head of national strategy and stakeholders team at the Social
Exclusion Unit Roger Wilshaw said that the new neighbourhood
renewal unit set up in April would be encouraging LSPs in the 88
most deprived areas to identify “business brokers” to work as links
between the public and private sectors to promote the role of
business in getting more investment and enterprise activity in
deprived areas.

“Relations with the voluntary sector are good, but relations
with businesses are weaker,” Wilshaw said. “Involving businesses is
a very hard nut to crack. Our own work suggests that while they
want to be involved they don’t know how to be engaged. Its
difficult to address those problems and something that we hope LSPs
will get to the bottom of.”



More from Community Care

Comments are closed.