Abstracts: January 31st, 2007

The Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Bill is expected to receive royal assent in Autumn 2007. It will allow the Secretary of State to invite local authorities to make proposals for establishing unitary authorities in place of two-tier authorities, simplify electoral arrangements by enabling councils to adopt all-out elections every four years and introduce new leadership models from which councils can choose and improve community governance by extending the power of wellbeing to parish councils,The performance workstream is expected to deliver a new set of about 200 indicators to be rolled-out from April 2008 and the full suite from April 2009. A new single performance framework for local government and its partners will be devised and the Audit Commission will become the single local services inspectorate in April 2008.

The methodology for the new Comprehensive Area Assessment will be implemented in full from April 2009. Best Value will be deregulated and simplified and a new set of Best Value Performance Indicators will be implemented from April 2008.

Local Area Agreements will be placed on a statutory footing and a new framework will be devised by April 2008. A duty on named partners to co-operate in the agreement of targets in LAAs will be introduced and there will be a new single pot LAA grant covering the four LAA themes by April 2008.

Measures to improve efficiency will include the publication by Spring 2007 of an integrated Business Improvement Package. This will include: business process improvement: activity based costing; exploiting customer insight as a strategic asset; migration of customers to cheaper delivery channels and collaboration and shared services. A National Improvement Strategy, which will include the first version of the set of national indicators and new local government efficiency targets, will be published in Summer 2007.

Elections for future unitaries are expected to be held in May 2008, with the unitaries fully operational by April 2009. The pathfinder partnerships will begin pioneering innovative two-tier models by 2008.

The timetable for the cities and regions City Development Companies includes a deadline of March 2007 for completion of consultation.

The timetable for community cohesion includes Forums on Extremism by March 2007, arrangements in place for supporting areas facing migrant pressures by April 2007 and publication of recommendations by the Commission on Integration and Cohesion by June 2007

The Implementation Plan is available at: http://www.communities.gov.uk/index.asp?id=1505697