Minister pushes joint boundaries

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has called for primary care
trusts to develop better relations with councils despite worries
over a Department of Health plan to cut the numbers of PCTs.

Local government minister Phil Woolas stressed last week the
importance of coterminosity – local agencies sharing the same
boundaries – for improving services.

He told a New Local Government Network conference on councils’
efficiency agenda that shared boundaries were vital for the success
of local area agreements, under which the government gives agencies
more financial freedom to tackle local priorities

He said that David Miliband, the minister for communities and local
government, would soon be making a statement on shared boundaries
between agencies.

But many unitary councils are concerned that DH plans to slash the
number of primary care trusts will  upset existing partnerships
based on coterminosity.

The DH plans to more than halve the current 303 PCTs.

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