The Chief Secretary to the Treasury and I are pleased to present the first Annual Report of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister for 2003 to Parliament. It sets out our achievements since the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister was set up on 29 May 2002.The aim of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister is to achieve thriving, inclusive and sustainable communities. The aim and associated objectives and delivery targets were developed during the Spending Review 2002. The issues that we deal with affect the lives of everyone and are crucial to building the healthy, prosperous and safe communities we seek.During our first year, we have made good progress. A key achievement has been the publication of
Sustainable Communities: building for the future—a long term programme of action, backed by substantial resources of £22 billion, to improve housing and communities across the country. Progress has been made in all our other areas of responsibility: housing, planning, local and regional government, regional policy, devolution, neighbourhood renewal and social inclusion. We are also strengthening our capacity to deliver and establish effective working relationships with all our partners.
We also recognise that many of the problems we seek to tackle are deep rooted and much more remains to be done in the years ahead. We remain focused on delivering thriving, inclusive and sustainable communities in all regions.