‘Tensions hindering community changes’

The New Deal for Communities (NDC) programme has suffered from
tensions from the outset, according to a recent report.

In a paper presented to Birmingham Council’s regeneration
committee, the council’s economic development officer Jackie
Culliford said:”The Neighbourhood Renewal Unit promoted NDC as a
different model of community leadership for regeneration and yet it
has always been bound by Treasury and Audit Commission
requirements. This tension has been difficult for accountable
bodies and local partnerships to accommodate.”

Culliford added that, despite proposals to the Office of the Deputy
Prime Minister and the Audit Commission about amending the
commission’s grant instructions, no changes had been made to

She highlighted frustrations with the slowness of delivery in the
area as another key area of tension.

Between 2001 and 2003, Aston Pride NDC spent just £2.4m of the
£54m allocated to the 10-year programme. Culliford attributed
this slow progress to the partnership’s failure to build the
infrastructure to employ people when it decided to become its own

“The ineffectiveness of the arrangements that had been put in place
was affecting delivery of the programme,” Culliford said.

Following government intervention, a new delivery partnership has
now been formed that will focus solely on delivery.

Direct public elections have taken place, replacing the process of
nominations via neighbourhood forums, bringing Aston Pride NDC into
line with other NDC programmes around the country.

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