Headlines: June 23rd, 1999

Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott has given the go-ahead for seven New Deal for Communities partnerships to start developing long-term strategies to regenerate deprived neighbourhoods, not larger than 4000 households. The issues that the strategies must address include limited job opportunities, crime, vandalism, educational under attainment and poor health. This brings the total number of approved partnerships to seventeen and they will share in the 800m pound budget over the next three years. More partnerships will be set up in further rounds.

The partnerships include community and voluntary bodies and the private sector as well as public sector agencies. Housing associations and social landlords are also included among the partners. It is hoped that following discussion on extending powers, social landlords will be able to provide amenities for people who are not tenants.

Strategies will have to be completed by March 2000. They will need to describe how the issues are going to be addressed and how the responses are to be implemented. In some cases the timescale will extend to ten years.