Headlines: December 7th, 1999

Cabinet Office Minister Mo Mowlem is to oversee the delivery of social exclusion policies. The Social Exclusion Unit has successfully cut across boundaries in a search for effective policies, but the Whitehall machine has been less successful in delivery.Tony Blair will retain responsibility for social exclusion, but Mo Mowlem will be his eyes and ears on delivery . Her job will be to make sure that policies become a reality. In the past, inter departmental groups led by a minister for the lead department have steered implementation, but progress has been slower and the impact less than expected. The new remit is aimed at ensuring that policies and strategies created by the Social Exclusion Unit are translated into tangible changes.

In addition to the standard progress reports she will carry out reality checks on the ground to find out if communities are better off as a result of policies. She will report to the Cabinet every three months.

The Social Exclusion Unit has produced five reports and action plans, including an action plan involving 18 teams looking at issues affecting poor neighbourhoods. The life of the Unit has been extended for a further three years.