Unit value reduced by long division

Those who have wondered what the point of the Neighbourhood Renewal
Unit is are not alone, it seems.

In a debate last week, the House of Lords pondered the very same
question, leading one peer to conclude that, as creator of the
over-complicated unit, “the government will be able to congratulate
itself on producing an indissoluble union between gobbledy and

Surely, questioned Lord Peyton of Yeovil, a unit which has seven
divisions and 14 sub-divisions would merely “exacerbate problems,
not solve them”.

His opening query had been to find out what “is the purpose and
annual cost of the neighbourhood renewal unit, and how many
committees have been generated by it?”

Supporters of the unit, which was established in April 2001 to help
improve the country’s 88 most deprived areas, will be pleased to
learn that Lord Rooker provided a robust defence.

“I freely admit and accept that access to various streams of
funding to localities is complicated for people to understand. It
can appear like a bowl of spaghetti,” he said.

He did, however, add that moves were afoot to sort out the

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