Headlines: May 21st, 2003

The signing of a joint central – local government declaration for using the local community planning framework to develop wider urban strategies marks a further move away from the central command and control model. The statement recognises that local leadership provides an essential ingredient of success and commits the Government to giving local authorities the tools to make the difference. It sets out how the Government and the Local Government Association will work together to support councils in leading their communities.The statement defines the areas of shared priorities which will be used as a starting point for tackling the complex problems. They are: raising school standards; improving the quality of life for children, young people, families at risk and older people; promoting healthier communities and narrowing health inequalities; creating safer and more cohesive communities; transforming the local environment; meeting local transport needs more effectively and promoting the economic vitality of localities.

Local Strategic Partnerships are seen as pivotal in developing community strategies, addressing the agenda for neighbourhood renewal and driving forward the broader vision. The LGA’s Urban Commission, which is made up of some 200 urban local authorities, will play a vital role in highlighting and spreading best practice.