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OVERBURDENED COUNCILS FAIL BUSINESS & THE ENVIRONMENT

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Over four in five local authorities (85%) feel they are failing to do enough to help local businesses improve their...
Over four in five local authorities (85%) feel they are failing to do enough to help local businesses improve their environmental performance or comply with environmental legislation - according to new research conducted for the regeneration partnership organisation, Groundwork.

Furthermore, while 96% of local authorities said they want to do more to help businesses, a comparison with earlier Groundwork research reveals they could be out of touch with the means and understanding to satisfy business needs.

Many of the methods local authorities would like to use to help businesses are the least popular with the businesses themselves.

This perhaps explains the level of effectiveness of environmental projects: the research also showed that authority leaders only rated their success in harnessing the enthusiasm of local communities for environmental projects at an average of 36%.

'What we have here is either an understanding or funding problem - or both.' commented Tony Hawkhead, chief executive of Groundwork. 'What is needed here is partnership.'

'The partnership approach is now unequivocally the most attractive practical solution for local authorities.

'Partnerships that organisations such as Groundwork provide, bring added value to communities and projects through additional funding, experience and dialogue.

'To effect lasting, positive change in local environments - economic, social and environmental - we need to talk, to work together and to understand each other.

'This may seem obvious, and on paper it is. But in practice this solution - 'the Groundwork Solution' has proved to be an innovation.

'Indeed, the past 15 years has seen ground breaking progress and revolutionary, lasting results - by merely 'doing the obvious'.

'We are optimistic that we can help these local authorities help business and the environment.

'It is encouraging that the research also shows that three out of five authorities recognise the role organisations like Groundwork can play in building these partnerships between local authorities and local businesses.'

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