Author Topic: The abandonment of Local Area agreements  (Read 1545 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Muggins

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2860
The abandonment of Local Area agreements
« on: October 15, 2010, 10:57:47 am »
"Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles has announced the abolition of all 152 Local Area Agreements. Speaking to council leaders and local government professionals at Hammersmith and Fulham Town Hall, Pickles said:

"There are 66 pages of guidance telling councils how to report on national indicators. So today I am scrapping the existing Local Area Agreements. Instead of national indicators, I promise you that we will only require one set of data from you.

"Instead of inspections, we are going to give councils what they want - freedom and power - to be able to take your own decisions on housing and planning. That is the foundation of the Localism Bill, which will be unveiled in a few weeks. Councils will be able to organise themselves, and do whatever they want through a General Power of Competence."

He also said that the Comprehensive Spending Review would streamline the sources of funding available to councils.

"We counted 58 funding streams for housing and regeneration and 80 agencies involved in economic growth in their area. By the time the money is coming, the forms have been filled in and the conditions have been satisfied, there is always going to be less money. Where is the incentive to be efficient or imaginative, what is the point of listening to local residents as opposed to central government?"

Pickles added that the spending review would bring down 'artificial barriers' that dictate what money should be spent on.

"We're going to put as much money as possible into just one cheque for councils to work out for themselves how to spend it. But this brings responsibility to protect frontline services, to commission really effective and productive services"

Trying to work out if this is a good move or a bad one, I can see that
removing the national indicators/outcomes and focusing on local needs might be a good thing, however there were some really good ones that our council would not have taken up if not forced to. 

But how do we all feel about the council having total control over the money?
Lifes not always fair. Sometimes you can get a splinter even sliding down a rainbow. - Cherralea Morgen

Offline Steve Wakefield

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1554
  • Gender: Male
Re: The abandonment of Local Area agreements
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2010, 11:12:15 am »
But how do we all feel about the council having total control over the money?

I welcome the end of the LAAs what next maybe the SSP and SSEP?  Council having total control over the money ? Like all things for me the answer depends on who the council is controlled by or the councillors themselves, and or who the other people/groups are if its not the council, maybe business or self appointed groups or public servants from quangos, the list is endless. Or maybe the FSB? Or Civic Trust?

We shall all soon be involved in "One Swindon" under the auspices of Cllr Dale Heenan.  Councillor Bob Wright has some interesting views on one Swindon, not always sure that I agree with them; so Muggins I await the Big Bang or Birth is it? Of One Swindon :coffee:
All posts on this forum are my own and do not represent the views of any council or any political party.  :banana:

Offline Jarvis

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 293
  • Gender: Male
Re: The abandonment of Local Area agreements
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2010, 12:49:49 pm »
 
But how do we all feel about the council having total control over the money?

Vulnerable and afraid.

Offline Alex

  • Charter Member
  • Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 591
  • Gender: Female
    • Alex Coppock-Bunce Hypnotherapy & Counselling
Re: The abandonment of Local Area agreements
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2010, 04:53:50 pm »

But how do we all feel about the council having total control over the money?

Vulnerable and afraid.

 :agreed: Somehow I think only  the Developers are going to be rubbing their hands in delight.

Offline Spectre

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 149
  • Hello !
Re: The abandonment of Local Area agreements
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2010, 07:08:45 pm »

But how do we all feel about the council having total control over the money?

Vulnerable and afraid.







And remember. No audit commision.   Heeeeeeeeelp.


We'll ALL have to keep watching now !

Offline Muggins

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2860
Re: The abandonment of Local Area agreements
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2010, 09:51:39 am »
It was only two years ago that a yonjg lady from GOSW came to speak to us with presentation on Real People real Power and promised that the Audit Commssion would be 'on hand', 'responding to us', looking over the shoulder of  local government etc. etc.

I have to say that they were a disappointment to me, not that I have contacted them, but with so obviously not right, I would have thought that some action could be taken.

We've all been watching and pointing out things we are not happy withy, but where do we go to get any further action - except at the ballot box?
Lifes not always fair. Sometimes you can get a splinter even sliding down a rainbow. - Cherralea Morgen

Offline Drone

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 713
  • Gender: Female
Re: The abandonment of Local Area agreements
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2010, 10:29:24 am »
One of the problems with National Indicators is that the followed the same journey as SATs in schools.

I've worked in a part of the council with a could of NIs. They were set up to guage the council's performance and encourage us to improve and keep involving local people in what we do. However, all our priorities became skewed until we had our own version of 'teaching to the test' - focusing all our energy on meeting the NI by any means necessary.

There has to be some way of measuring council performance though. But the NI/LAA system did have its flaws.
derp derp herp herp derp

Offline Muggins

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2860
Re: The abandonment of Local Area agreements
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2010, 10:51:00 am »
You are right of course Drone, I remember a very wise veteran of community development things saying on more than one occasion - Beware the Target! Beware the Target!  (In much the saem voice tone as if he was saying "we're doomed, We're doomed!"

I'm fairly sure that targets came in, in response to a vast grumble nation-wide about  councils not doing what they said they were doing, so agreeing local targets via the agreements, meant we should all have been able to follow progress, but it didn't happen in the way we all thought it would. it also should have meant targetted funding and a bit of that went on.

It's a bit like people learning to pass their driving test rather than learning how to drive properly and thoroughly.

And targets are all very well if all other policy follow suit, instead of that the budgets needed were cut or moved around.
One of them was the Open Spaces and Biodiversity.  As the targets got better, budgets got lower and necessary staff were being made redundant. 

Now, at present,  I don't know how any one can make a promise about service delivery and expect to keep it.


Lifes not always fair. Sometimes you can get a splinter even sliding down a rainbow. - Cherralea Morgen

 

Sorry, the copyright must be in the template.
Please notify this forum's administrator that this site is missing the copyright message for SMF so they can rectify the situation. Display of copyright is a legal requirement. For more information on this please visit the Simple Machines website.