Archives for January 25th, 2006

MIND THE ENTERPRISE GAP: IS ENTERPRISE POLICY WORKING TO HELP BUSINESS IN DEPRIVED AREAS?

Abstracts, PublicNet: 25 January, 2006

This paper from The Institute for Public Policy Research’s Centre for Cities looks at the effectiveness of enterprise policy on helping businesses in deprived areas. Building enterprise in deprived urban areas is a key policy goal. But relatively little is known about the effectiveness of enterprise initiatives in deprived areas, or about the needs of businesses that are located there. The Centre for Cities’ City Markets Project has surveyed 348 businesses in deprived areas in Derby, Doncaster and Sunderland to find out about the market factors affecting business location in these areas and the real impact of enterprise initiatives.The survey reveals three key findings. First, connectivity is the main asset of these deprived areas. Building on this and other assets is the way forward. Second, business support schemes such as Business Link are not well recognised, but those who use Business Link are reasonably satisfied. And third, the benefits of Enterprise Areas are hardly utilised – only two percent of the sample had used any of them.

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PLANNING PROCESS PILOT PROJECTS ANNOUNCED

Headlines, PublicNet: 25 January, 2006

Local authorities are to take part in a series of pilot projects intended to improve and speed up the planning process for larger and more complex developments. The new Planning Delivery Agreement schemes aim to give greater certainty to developers over the handling of their applications and to offer local councils a management framework.Under the 22 pilots, local planning authorities will work with developers, and other stakeholders with a commitment to an agreed project plan that will set out a timeframe for a decision. It will also highlight the resources needed and the requirement for community engagement with the object of ensuring that sustainability and design standards are properly considered.

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COUNCILS ‘STALLING ON QUIET LANES IN ABSENCE OF REGULATIONS’

Headlines, PublicNet: 25 January, 2006

Local authorities are holding back from designating rural roads as Quiet Lanes because of the Government’s failure to publish regulations more than five years after the Transport Act, according to campaign group the CPRE. It had seen the Act as bringing hope to walkers, cyclists and horse riders because their needs are given greater priority on Quiet Lanes, which are shared use roads.The lanes are meant to be identified by highway authorities working with local communities but, the CPRE says, although local authorities can designate minor rural roads as Quiet Lanes under the Act they have been reluctant to do so in the absence of the Regulations.

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