Headlines: February 12th, 2007



A series of Neighbourhood Agreements are due to be signed in Liverpool and the City Council believes they will revolutionise the way local communities are run. The agreements will see politicians, police, health, council staff and community and voluntary agencies reaching an accord on shared priorities. The aim is to improve employment prospects and the environment and to lead to local people having more healthy lifestyles.

The City Council says the agreements in five areas of Liverpool will put residents at the centre of decision making and mean that all local agencies will pursue common goals with budgets and plans being aligned towards those aims. Key themes for action include economic development and enterprise, physical regeneration, safer, stronger communities, children and young people and healthier communities.

Councillor Marilyn Fielding, Liverpool’s executive member for Housing and Neighbourhood Services, said the agreements were the first step towards regenerating all the city’s neighbourhoods. “It means local people can tell us their priorities and all agencies whether the council, police or health bodies will all work towards those priorities and we will be held accountable if we don’t,” she said. The new approach would mean all agencies working from the same agenda towards the same ends with each group being accountable to the others. The five neighbourhoods involved are City & North Liverpool, Liverpool East, Alt Valley, Central and South Liverpool. The agreements will dictate investment and planning decisions at both city-wide and neighbourhood levels.

Liverpool’s assistant executive director for Housing and Neighbourhood Services, Cath Green, said many of the issues that the agencies had to deal with were too complex to be sorted out by individual agencies working in isolation. For the first time, she said, all agencies would have a clear and solid foundation of shared and agreed priorities and targets to build on together.