This report, commissioned by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, sets out the findings of an independent evaluation of the Community Participation Programmes. The programmes provide funding to encourage local people to become involved in the regeneration of their neighbourhoods and help residents gain the skills and knowledge so they can play an effective role in local strategic partnerships. Grants of up to 5000 pounds are provided to local community groups.The finding show that giving groups small sums of money upfront with no strings attached has been a crucial factor in delivering results. The profile of groups has been raised locally and people have become involved in neighbourhood and borough wide activities. The training has resulted in people becoming involved in decision making for the first time. The Programmes are making valuable developments in small groups, new start-up groups and developing the whole sector.
The report highlights the need for Central government to provide more effective incentives to ensure that Local Strategic Partnership partners and service providers take community participation seriously, reflecting this in the next round of Comprehensive Performance Assessments, in Local Area Agreements, in LSP performance management exercises and other appropriate vehicles.
The report is available at: http://www.neighbourhood.gov.uk/publications.asp?did=1419