Headlines: July 5th, 1999

The modernising government programme is creating a substantial pool of
learning about what works and what does not work. The problem is that the
learning is held in many puddles across the UK where the initiatives are
taking place. The Local Government Association is seeking to draw the
puddles together through its Supporting the Action Zones scheme.

The scale of the problem is growing daily as new initiatives are launched.
In addition to the many education and health action zones in place and the
planned employment zones there are other area based projects such as: New
Deal for Communities, Better Government for Older People, Sure Start
trailblazer programmes, New Commitment to Regeneration, Best Value Pilot
Authorities and ONE – one stop job seeking and benefit shops. The situation
is complicated because of the number of partners involved in the
initiatives. In all cases there is cross boundary working.

The aim of the LGA is enable local authorities and their partners in the
public, private and voluntary sectors to share experiences across the
different zones and areas nationally. This will involve disseminating
information about case studies and innovative practice; identifying common
issues and producing guidance on the opportunities and threats and
suggesting strategies to address them.

The Department for Environment, Transport and the Regions has also launched
an initiative to foster coordination of area-based initiatives. Six areas
are being studied to learn lessons about effective coordination.