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Councils are set to claim their share of£1.5bn from the ...
Councils are set to claim their share of £1.5bn from the

government if they hit new targets on key local priorities under the

second generation of the local public service agreements (local PSA)


Under the new guidance, councils will have more leeway to set targets

that will make a real difference to their local areas such as

reducing crime levels, improving education standards and providing

cleaner streets for local people.

The new guidance continues to encourage voluntary agreements between

councils, local organisations and government departments to strive

for improvement in local services.

Announcing the new guidance at a conference held at the Local

Government Association today, local government minister Nick

Raynsford said:

'I am delighted that the local PSA scheme - which started some three

years ago - has proved so popular, with almost all of the larger

local authorities getting involved.

'The new scheme announced today will keep the valuable features of

the original local PSAs and build on this to make the second

generation even more effective.

'At the heart of the new scheme will be an agreement between councils

their partners, and government, about priorities for local


'The second generation of the local PSAs is significantly more

ambitious and challenging for both central and local governments. I

am confident however, that it will build on the positive experience

and outcomes of the original agreements to give people the best local

services possible.'

Chief secretary to the Treasury Paul Boateng said:

'Local PSAs provide a key tool for authorities as they work to drive

up performance across the breadth of local government's

responsibilities. They have enhanced the debate between central and

local government at an individual authority level, and provided new

opportunities for local government to challenge Whitehall.

'The second g eneration of local PSAs should drive these changes

forward, seeking to be as radical as possible. In particular, I am

pleased that this generation will allow authorities and their

partners to focus on the priorities for improvement in the local


Jeremy Beecham, chair of the Local Government Association, said:

'Local government has great ambitions for improving the quality of

life for its local residents, but it cannot succeed alone and needs

to use its role as a community leader to work with local partners to

tackle the issues which are most important in their communities.

'The second generation of Local PSAs provide a focus for the

partnership working that is already happening in many areas to

continue and expand. The renewed commitment from central government

today to value local priorities for improvement is welcome

recognition of the importance of setting local targets. Local

authorities look forward to working with central government to agree

ambitious freedoms that will enable them to be more innovative in the

way they deliver local services.'


Local PSAs were developed by the government, in partnership with the

LGA, in 2000. Councils agree performance targets with government and

earn a reward grant for meeting these targets. A 'pump priming' grant

(the average is £1m per authority) is given at the start of the


Agreements for first generation PSAs are in place with the vast

majority of the shire counties and unitary authorities, metropolitan

districts, and London boroughs.

Second generation PSAs will differ from the first in:

- a focus on the priorities for improvement locally, rather than on

national targets;

- a greater effort to concert the activities of partners locally,

both within and beyond local government, in support of tackling those

priorities for improvement;

- a renewed effort by government departments to add value to the

tackling of those priorities for improvement.

Several of the pilot local PSA authorities want to negotiate new

agreements by next Spring, with others following shortly afterwards.

The new publication LPSA 2G Building on Success, A guide to the

second generation of local public service agreements is available here.

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