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EAST RIDING COUNCIL GETS CASH INCENTIVE TO BOOST LOCAL SERVICES

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East Riding of Yorkshire has signed a challenging and ambitious agreement worth over£7.8m to drive up key local se...
East Riding of Yorkshire has signed a challenging and ambitious agreement worth over£7.8m to drive up key local services.

The agreement has been secured under the second generation of the Local Public Service Agreement (Local PSA) scheme, launched by the Government at the end of 2003. Under the scheme, councils agree a range of challenging targets with the Government based on priorities for improvement locally. If they meet these targets, they will earn a reward grant equivalent to 2.5% of the authority's budget for one year, which can be ploughed back into local services.

Local Government Minister Phil Woolas said:

'I would like to congratulate East Riding of Yorkshire Council on signing a second generation Local Public Service Agreement.

'The agreement provides a real incentive for the council to raise standards across a range of key areas such as education, environment, community safety and health. These issues are already high on the agenda for local residents and I am confident that the new targets will provide further impetus for driving up delivery.'

Signing the agreement on behalf of East Riding, Chief Executive Nigel Pearson said:

'East Riding of Yorkshire Council and our partners welcome the opportunity to take part in the second generation of Local Public Service Agreements. Building on the success of our first LPSA, where significant improvements were made in a range of local public services, we now have a further opportunity to tackle those issues that have the greatest impact on our local neighbourhoods and residents' quality of life.

'These targets seek to achieve ambitious improvements in a number of key areas including educational attainment, children and adult health, fire safety and arson reduction, and helping people with a learning disability into work.

'This agreement represents a robust partnership approach to delivering improvements, which will sit at the heart of our Local Area Agreement. We look forward to delivering further significant improvements in these areas over the next three years.'

If East Riding of Yorkshire achieves the targets set out in its agreement, the Government will pay out a maximum reward grant of£7.881m, equal to 2.5% of its budget for 2004/5. In addition, and irrespective of achievement of targets, the Government will pay East Riding of Yorkshire a 'pump-priming' grant of£1.071m this year. This will contribute to the costs of a range of projects identified by the council to help it succeed in achieving targets.

Notes

1. Local PSAs were developed by the Government, in partnership with the LGA, in 2000. Councils agree performance targets with the Government and earn a reward grant for meeting those targets. A 'pump priming' grant (the average is£1 million per authority) is given at the start of the process. Agreements for first generation PSAs are in place with the vast majority of the shire counties and unitary authorities, metropolitan districts and London boroughs.

2. Guidance on the second generation of Local PSAs was subsequently launched in December 2003 and is available on the ODPM website at. The second generation local PSAs differ from the first in that they provide:

* A focus on priorities for improvement locally, rather than on national targets;

* Greater emphasis on partnership working between councils and other local organisations to deliver improvements in key areas which are most important to local residents

3. A copy of East Riding of Yorkshire's second-generation local PSA agreement, signed by Local Government Minister Phil Woolas, and Chief Executive Nigel Pearson, and Council Leader Stephen Parnaby will be available shortly on the ODPM website.

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