Aid for community groups urged

A culture change is needed to make community involvement in
regeneration a reality, according to a report published this week
by the deputy prime minister.

Putting People at the Heart of Urban Renaissance, by Urban
Forum and the Black Training and Enterprise Group, recommends that
the government needs to invest in voluntary and community groups as
much as in the business sector.

Urban Forum policy development officer Caroline Bond said: “What we
would like to see is the government translating the rhetoric of
community involvement into an action plan with long term resourcing
for the community and voluntary sector.

“This could be achieved through mainstreaming the Community
Empowerment Fund in every area.”

But the report, based on feedback from 250 voluntary organisations,
also says that voluntary groups themselves need to modernise and be
more responsive, especially to black and minority communities.

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