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Welcome to the Improvement Zone

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Welcome to the Improvement Zone

Local Government Chronicle has always featured examples of best practice from across the whole spectrum of local government activities, from massive regeneration schemes to modest projects to increase environmental awareness.

The scope of local government work is not merely vast, but also includes new responsibilities appearing all the time. Carbon dioxide emissions, economic migrants, disenfranchised ethnic minority groups - these are all issues that councils are having to deal with, alongside their existing responsibilities to provide the best and most efficient services for the public.

To their credit, councils have put in place countless examples of best practice across the whole spectrum of services, and these examples are something that can be shared and learned from. Now that LGC has expanded and upgraded its website, the opportunity to cover case studies and examples of best practice is much greater.

The Improvement Zone will be updated on a rolling basis, including new best practice examples every week from organisations such as the Improvement & Development Agency, the Regional Centres of Excellence, the Audit Commission, 4ps and the Society of Information Technology Management. Articles will include contacts and links to detailed information, and will offer the chance for users to easily access a range of best practice projects that are of interest to them.

In the near future, the Improvement Zone will be divided into five broad subject headings:

1. Development. This includes regeneration, economic development, housing and planning.

2. Families. Topics include adult care, children’s care, education, issues for older people, and projects to deal with specific problems such as underage pregnancy and drugs.

3. Policy and politics. This will encompass issues of local governance, increasing voter participation and any initiative to develop local democracy.

4. Communities. This section will deal with issues such as anti-social behaviour, neighbourhood development work, waste collection, recycling, clean air and community cohesion.

5. Finance and corporate services - featuring financial, legal and regulatory improvements.

The Improvement Zone will also feature regular columns by those most knowledgeable about best practice, with our first column to be written by Lucy de Groot, executive director of the IDeA.

As the Improvement Zone develops, we intend to build up an online resource that enables readers to stay abreast of the latest case studies, and also identify those areas where more examples of best practice are emerging. As with LGC’s print edition, we welcome examples of best practice in any area of local government. Any case studies or queries should be sent to john.camm@emap.com.

John Camm

Features editor, LGC

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