Abstracts: May 14th, 2007

This paper from Communities and Local Government focuses on how community strategies are being developed in two-tier authorities and how they link in with the regional agenda.The lack of clear guidance from central government on two-tier working community strategies has emerged as a key theme within the evaluation. The result is a wide variation in the format, approach, context and content and some strategies are not fit for purpose. The lack of guidance has also resulted in county level community planning trailing planning in unitary and district councils.

At regional level Regional Government Offices have generally taken on an advisory role and links are developing between community and regional strategies.

The paper concludes that the development of county level community strategies should avoid the top down approach and the option of amalgamating district strategies. The county strategy needs to be a strategic document, setting the context for the districts strategies and linking districts with the regional agenda. The process needs to be clearly two-way, with the county strategy setting the overall strategic vision for the county and drawing upon district level priorities, needs and understanding of local problems.

The paper is available at: