City Challenge schemes, introduced by the Conservative government, were more successful than their predecessors bec...
City Challenge schemes, introduced by the Conservative government, were more successful than their predecessors because they were independent and at arm's length from local authorities, according to a writer in The Guardian (Society, p8).
Managers were not distracted by the day-to-day exigencies of running poorly-funded mainstream services, says Gerard Lemos, of the School for Social Entrepreneurs.
He says that partnership across agencies and functions was the order of the day. The success of City Challenge was also its neighbourhood base - a far cry from a local authority area that contains many neighbourhoods where boundaries are not always those of natural communities.
He concudes that transparency and accountability are needed when public money is being spent. Local authorities and NHS trusts are accountable, but too big and distant, and housing associations too one-dimensional. He says: 'What we need are publicly accountable neighbourhood social regeneration agencies.'