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LOCAL COUNCILS' SHOWCASE FILMS HIGHLIGHT KEY ISSUES AT LGA ANNUAL CONFERENCE

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Showcasing at this year's LGA annual conference are a series of films highlighting how local councils are transform...
Showcasing at this year's LGA annual conference are a series of films highlighting how local councils are transforming people's lives.

The conference will screen specially commissioned films on each of the LGA's six commitments project which was started a year ago to highlight key areas where councils are committed to tackling issues that really matter to local people. The film locations and themes are:

Stoke on Trent Council (Delivering high quality, more reliable bus services); Sefton MBC (Developing schools in the community); Camden LBC (Helping older people to live independent lives); Nottinghamshire CC (Helping the hardest to reach into work); Canterbury City Council/Kent CC (Supporting children and their families) and Rochdale MDC (Transforming local environments wherever people live)

The six films also highlight some of the key areas that should be 'shared priorities' for both local and central government, due to be discussed by councillors and officers from throughout England and Wales when they meet for their annual conference and general assembly this week.

The six councils are part of a group of 40 'pathfinder' authorities who are working closely with the LGA to develop innovative public services through the six commitments project.

Jeremy Beecham, chair of the LGA said:

`These presentations show clearly how people's lives are being transformed by the work of local councils and their partners. They show that councils are taking an imaginative approach to developing public services, but often working against a myriad of centralg overnment rules, regulations and funding control. They also show the trues uccess of the LGA's six commitments project on the ground-work that has clearly influenced central government's thinking on a set of 'shared priorities' for central and local government.'

NOTES :

1) A brief description of the videos is as follows:

Delivering high quality, more reliable bus services: Stoke is one of the first local authorities to use the government's local transport plan to improve its subsidised bus services and provide access for the most vulnerable members of the community.

Developing schools in the community: Sefton is promoting primary and secondary schools as a focus for the community whereby local residents are able to access a range of services including childcare,h ealth and adult learning.

Helping older people to live independent lives: Camden has piloted innovative ways of preventing unnecessary hospital stays and promoting improved quality of life and better support to help the elderly remain independent.

Helping the hardest to reach into work: Nottinghamshire's `Bridge to Work' project provides training to local unemployed people ands upports the local business community by helping them to gain employment in their local area.

Supporting children and their families: Canterbury and Kent have piloted a way to provide a unique opportunity to use play to break down social barriers, develop educational programmes and include families who require support in deprived areas.

Transforming local environments wherever people live: Rochdale's street art project has cut down enormous `clear up' costs for the council and has encouraged street artists to use a specific area, subsequently cut crime and drug misuse levels.

2) The LGA general assembly yesterday was due to discuss a draft statement of proposed 'shared priorities' between local and central government that have been developed by the Central Local Partnership, a regular meeting of key government ministers and cross-party LGA members. Once agreed these shared priorities will form the central themes of central government funding for local councils due to be announced in the Spending Review 2002 statement from the chancellor later in July.

The draft shared priorities are:

- raising standards across our schools

- improving the quality of life of children, young people and families at risk

- promoting healthierc ommunities and narrowing health inequalities

- creating safer and stronger communities

- transforming our local environment

- meeting local transport needs more effectively

- promoting the economic vitality of localities

3) Pathfinder authorities for the LGA's six commitments project are:

Delivering high quality, more reliable bus services: Stoke-on-Trent, Birmingham, Cambridge, Hampshire with East Hampshire, Harlow and Lancashire

Developing schools in the community: Sefton, Durham, Gateshead, Lincolnshire, Newcastle, Tameside and Warwickshire

Helping older people to live independent lives: Camden, Shropshire, Leeds, North Kesteven with Lincolnshire, Tameside and Stockton on Tees

Helping the `hardest to reach' into work: Nottinghamshire, Brighton, Bristol, Knowsley, Sunderland and Warwickshire

Supporting children and their families: Canterbury with Kent, Bury, Luton, Redbridge, Swansea with Stockton on Tees and Worcestershire

Transforming local environments wherever people live: Rochdale, Barnsley, Newham, Northumberland with Wansbeck and Kent

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