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Local Government: Local Area Agreements

Volume 703: debated on Monday 30 June 2008

My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for the Department of Communities and Local Government (Hazel Blears) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

I am announcing today the successful conclusion of local area agreement (LAA) negotiations with all 150 local areas in England. This has been made possible through the sustained commitment and collective enterprise of all involved—across Whitehall, local government, local service providers and communities.

LAAs are about two things: improving the quality of life in local communities and providing better, more responsive public services. They are at the heart of the Government’s commitment to develop a new local performance framework which brings together national standards and priorities set by government with local priorities informed by the strategy developed by the local authority and its partners. As a planned and shared commitment between central and local government, they provide a real basis for tackling the issues that matter most in local communities.

Today is a key milestone in implementing this framework to deliver government commitments at a local level, as well as prioritising the issues that are of most concern to local people. This is a real achievement and represents a new way in which the Government have been able to focus on what matters most in particular places.

This is not an end in itself. The Government will continue to support local authorities and partners as they devote considerable energy to delivering improvements for our communities.