Plans outline more local service control

    Neighbourhoods are to win greater powers over services, the
    government announced this week.

    In its second five-year plan, the Office of the Deputy Prime
    Minister said neighbourhoods should have a greater say in decisions
    that affect them. This could involve anything from greater rights
    of information for communities to the ability to commission or
    manage services.

    But the plans are unlikely to bring significant changes to social
    care.

    The report suggests the stronger form of devolution will benefit
    only locally based environmental or community safety services
    rather than social care.

    It promises a broad national framework within which councils can
    empower their local communities. But it stops short of imposing a
    model of neighbourhood devolution or setting up new authorities
    below the level of local government.

    The five-year plan also calls for councillors to become
    “mini-mayors”, championing the interests of their wards.

    • Sustainable Communities: People, Places and Prosperity,
      available from www.odpm.gov.uk

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