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£10M TO GET LOCAL SERVICES WORKING FOR SCOTTISH COMMUNITIES

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Local communities in Scotland are set to get£10m support from a radical government initiative which aims to encour...
Local communities in Scotland are set to get£10m support from a radical government initiative which aims to encourage new and innovative ways of providing local services.

Officially launching Working for Communities in Easterhouse last week, Scottish area regeneration minister Calum MacDonald announced that 22 additional areas were being invited to participate in the initiative. Easterhouse and West Edinburgh are already operating in the programme as Pathfinder areas.

Mr MacDonald said:

'Working for Communities uses a radical, bottom-up approach to providing local services. The initiative puts local communities firmly in the driving seat by giving them the opportunity to develop entirely new ways of getting local services to local people.

'Both Easterhouse and West Edinburgh are setting the pace in showing just how the initiative gives real power to the community. In Barlanark, Easthall and Wellhouse they are joining forces with the NHS to provide a new facility for local people. In Edinburgh agencies are working together to co-ordinate ways to access employment and to get young people's views on the services they want and need.

'Working for Communities is a key element in our attack on social exclusion. The key public sector agencies involved in the early pathfinder areas are all demonstrating their commitment to this process and are identifying a more efficient, flexible and responsive way in delivering local services.'

NOTES

1.Working for Communities is part of the New Deal for Communities programme, first announced by the secretary of state on 8 May. £1.3m was made available to support the programme this year with an additional£12.9 million over the next three years. A total of£10m is available for Working for Communities over this and the three forward years.

2.Easterhouse and Wester Hailes (now expanded to West Edinburgh) were identified as early pathfinders on local service delivery in May. Mr MacDonald's visit to Easterhouse today marks the formal launch of the

pathfinding process in each area.

3.Existing regeneration partnerships and partnerships in a number of rural areas have been invited to submit brief proposals for pathfinders under the Working for Communities programme. The

areas selected are listed below. Six to ten areas will then be asked to work up detailed proposals. Depending on the scale and nature of the proposal, pathfinders are expected to cost between£50,000-£200,000 each year for a maximum of three years. These resources are available to facilitate the development of new approaches, not to run local services which is the responsibility of existing service providers.

4.The Working for Communities programme offers the opportunity to explore the potential for widening the role of local and community based housing associations and co-operatives. The areas selected (detailed below) are encouraged to involve these associations in their area when drawing up proposals.

5.The other strand under New Deal for Communities is the Listening to Communities programme. In November, Mr MacDonald launched the programme with£3m resources to develop the potential of local communities to participate in regeneration partnerships and identify new ways of testing community needs and opinions. Proposals for taking the programme forward are presently being considered.

List of areas invited to submit expressions of interest:

Regeneration Partnerships:

Great Northern (Aberdeen)

Dundee PPA

Inverclyde

Motherwell North (North Lanarkshire)

Paisley (Renfrewshire)

North Ayr (South Ayrshire)

West Dunbartonshire

Dundee Regeneration Programme

Levern Valley (East Renfrewshire)

Falkirk

Fife

North Ayrshire Regeneration Programme

North Lanarkshire Regeneration Programme

Cambuslang (South Lanarkshire)

Stirling

Rural Communities:

Angus Council

Dumfries and Galloway Council

Highland Council - (Initiative at the Edge)

Western Isles Council - ( ' ' )

Argyll and Bute- ( ' ' )

Orkney Council- ( ' ' )

City Partnerships:

Glasgow Alliance (with particular reference to role of housing

associations)

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