My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (Hazel Blears) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.
I am today publishing Transforming Places; changing lives: a framework for regeneration. This document sets out an ambitious package of proposals—for consultation—that aim to shape the way that regeneration is carried out in future in England. Publishing the framework fulfils a commitment from the 2007 sub-national review of economic development and regeneration.
We have made great strides in regeneration in the past 10 years, narrowing the gap between the most deprived neighbourhoods and the rest. The new approach builds on what we know works.
The framework contains a renewed focus on ensuring that regeneration tackles the underlying economic challenges to increase social mobility and support people to reach their potential, regardless of where they live. Specifically, the measures proposed aim to:
ensure that regeneration investment is co-ordinated and prioritised in the right places, with public, private, and third sector organisations working together in the same places towards a shared vision;
devolve power—decisions about where to invest should be made as locally as possible, so this framework proposes an approach to prioritisation that starts with communities and their councils, and aims to align investment behind local and regional regeneration priorities—making programmes fit places, not places fit programmes; and,
focus regeneration investment on tackling the underlying economic challenges that hold places back, in particular supporting people to get a job and then progress within the labour market as well as boosting levels of enterprise in those areas.
The framework proposes that all regeneration should be aligned behind three priority outcomes:
improving economic performance in the areas that have not yet made the same progress as other areas;
improving rates of work and enterprise in these areas; and
creating sustainable places where people want to live and can work, and businesses want to invest.
The consultation is accompanied by an impact assessment. Copies have been placed in the House Library or it can be accessed via the Department for Communities and Local Government website at: www.communities.gov.uk/publications/citiesandregions/transformingplaces.
Consultation closes on 31 October 2008.