This evaluation report from Communities and Local Government argues that community strategies have added value and that they have supported the delivery of central Government objectives.
Increasingly community strategies are being assigned the role of the key strategic document in localities and they provide the vision and strategic framework for other local plans and strategies. They also have a key role in relation to ‘place shaping’.
The evaluation has provided evidence of progress towards the achievement of important process outcomes as a result of the community strategy process. They have fostered partnership working, integration of strategies and joint target setting. The areas where there has been least progress are budget pooling and mapping spend and activities by area.
Most progress had been made in relation to crime and community safety, and least progress in relation to jobs and worklessness.
The evaluation highlighted barriers which challenge the development and implementation of community strategies. They include partnership working, the lack of ‘teeth’ of the community strategy and the LSP and uncertainty around local government reorganization.
The report is available from DCLG.