The Government announced the successful roll out of Local Area Agreements (LAAs) across England today.
In October 2004, 21 pilot LAAs were announced for implementation from April 2005. There were a further 66 LAAs signed in March 2006 and a further 62 were signed this month. This achieves the Government's target of having LAAs in every area in England (apart from the Isles of Scilly) from April 2007.
A Local Area Agreement (LAA) is a three-year agreement that sets out the priorities for a local area as agreed between central Government and the local authority and local strategic partnership (LSP).
The primary objective of an LAA is to deliver genuinely sustainable communities through better outcomes for local people. As set out in the Local Government White Paper, “Strong and Prosperous Communities”, the Government are strengthening the role of LAAs and placing them at the heart of the new performance framework for local authorities. LAAs will now apply to all outcomes delivered by local government working alone or in partnership with other organisations. The White Paper puts in place a new framework for strategic leadership in local areas, bringing together partners to focus on the needs of citizens and communities. It offers a deal where the local authority and local partners co-operate with each other on agreeing and delivering the improvement priorities for places.
In 2008 all areas will have moved to a new LAA enabling them to work with even greater flexibility over resources to respond to local priorities. The new LAAs are all about practical solutions for issues which really matter for local people. We are working across Government, with the LGA and with authorities to implement the new arrangements over the course of the next year.