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Regeneration strategies for cities cannot be developed in a vacuum Jeremy Beecham told the British Urban Regenerati...
Regeneration strategies for cities cannot be developed in a vacuum Jeremy Beecham told the British Urban Regeneration Association (BURA) conference, The Future of Cities, in Belfast yesterday.

Speaking as president of BURA and chair of the Local Government Association (LGA), Sir Jeremy said lasting and effective renewal needed local government to work together in partnership with other agencies to develop regeneration strategies.

'Local authorities must lead partnerships with the private and community sectors and with agencies of central government'.

These strategies should not just deal with planning and transport policies, he argued, but include polices, 'which underpin economic regeneration in the fields of education, housing...the environment...and community care,' he said.

In order for cities to meet to needs of the local community and to compete with their counterparts, local government needed to change. With at least 80% of local authority funding determined by central government, lack of financial autonomy was one of the key problems.

Sir Jeremy argued that central government must change its procedure for distributing resources to 'a more holistic partnership at local level, deploying its mainline programmes jointly with local authorities and other agencies'. For its part, the private sector, should, 'encourage and facilitate networking among decision makers in the community and public sectors' he said.

He believed no strategy would be effective in the long term if not based on the principle of inclusiveness. 'To efficiency and effectiveness we have to add the vital ingredient of equity, transcending the boundaries of age gender and race.' It was not enough to effect improvements, Sir Jeremy argued, 'we need to encourage local recruitment and employment policies, provide child care and develop the intermediate job market.' Until these problems are effectively dealt with, he said, 'none of us can say we have effectively tackled the job of urban regeneration.'

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