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Councils and their partners will be given greater freedom to explore ...
Councils and their partners will be given greater freedom to explore

local solutions to local problems, under detailed new proposals

announced today. Local Area Agreements (LAAs) will be piloted in

nine English local authorities next year, local government minister

Nick Raynsford confirmed.

Local agreements will simplify funding streams, join up public

services and give councils and other local delivery partners more

flexibility. They will be structured around three key themes:

children and young people; safer and stronger communities; and health

and older people.

Authorities and their partners will negotiate clear targets and

outcomes for these areas with central government, but then will have

the freedom to decide locally how best to achieve them.

Local Public Service Agreements (LPSAs) will form a key part of the

Agreements, offering reward grants for performance.

Mr Raynsford said:

'We want to develop a new relationship between central and local

government. We want councils and their partners to find local

solutions to local problems. We want to cut red tape and

bureaucracy. And we want the public to have a greater say on the

issues, which concern them.

'Local Area Agreements represent a radical new approach in the

relationship between local and central government. We are focusing

on what is important: the outcomes in key areas. Central government

will set strategic priorities but will leave authorities and their

partners to decide the detailed implementation.'

Councils and other stakeholders are now able to react to the

proposals in today's prospectus which will be refined in discussion

with councils and their partners over the next few months into a

detailed approach to be piloted in a number of areas. The prospectus

invites areas that would like to be one of these nine pilots to make

their interest known to their relevant government office. It is

expected that the areas chosen for the nine pilots will be announced

in the autumn.


The prospectus on Local Area Agreements is available here.

As announced in the spending review, the government's intention is to

pilot Local Area Agreements in nine areas (one in each GO region in

England) in 2005-06 with a view to wider roll out, if successful,

from 2006-07.

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