Headlines: May 26th, 2000

The Local Government Association has launched a model for local strategic partnerships which will allow public sector and voluntary bodies to work together. There is widespread support for joining up to deliver a seamless outcome, but in practice it is proving very difficult. The Performance and Innovation Unit in the Cabinet Office found that there is a lack of co-ordination at national, regional and local levels.The LGA advocates local strategic partnerships to bring diverse organisations together to work from neighbourhood level upwards. The model was developed in response to the views of councils and other bodies that regeneration policies had largely failed to help poor communities in any lasting way.

Principles of the local strategic partnership model include a minimum five year time horizon, focus on an area which is at least one local authority wide and is concerned with mainstream budget of all partners rather than discretionary pots of funding.

Partnerships should include central government, through the government regional offices, councils, health authorities, police, public agencies e.g. Benefits Agency and Employment Service, universities, higher education institutions, local businesses, voluntary and community groups.

The model has been tested by 22 pathfinder councils in different areas of the UK. A further 50 councils are using the model to plan partnerships.

Link: www.lga.gov.