The issue for us is not creating world-class businesses, it is ensuring people in dispossessed communities have access to jobs. Its regeneration director, Baron Isherwood, said the region would‘try to honour single regeneration budget bids turned down in the previous round’, but would not be able to run anything resembling an SRB7 programme. He added:‘NWDA wants to make clear that it is not abandoning holistic regeneration, but we are trying to concentrate on economic regeneration, improving competitiveness and improving GDP. We will expect other partners to contribute other things. find out more : Sydney Property Valuers
Such sentiments are likely to be greeted with caution by the voluntary sector, which remains worried about the nature and scale of future RDA funding for social regeneration. Urban Forum chief executive John Routledge said RDAs’ shift towards capital funding would disproportionately affect funding for community-based projects. The forum is preparing a campaign to encourage RDAs to maintain the social regeneration side of its work, possibly by signing up to a commitment to spend 10% of their funding on excluded groups.
The agency will reconsider its approach to jobs, and has also pledged to work with the Commission for Racial Equality to draw ethnic minorities into economic life. The government is preparing to narrow its focus on poverty by concentrating resources on the worst cases of severe deprivation. The unit’s long-awaited report on deprivation, published this week amid a deluge of material to coincide with the sustainable communities summit, urges ministers to use the fund to help achieve its ‘floor targets’ by dealing with small pockets of poverty at neighbourhood level.
The floor targets themselves are to be strengthened in an effort to speed up progress, the ODPM announced this week. A consultation on the way forward for the NRF, launched in December, accepts that reducing the number of eligible areas could cut off funding to neighbourhoods that are just starting to make progress, and says some of these might be eligible for transitional support. It also suggests that small pockets of deprivation missed by the fund after 2006 might be targeted by the neighbourhood element of the safer and stronger communities fund. Overall, the Strategy Unit found that policies designed in 2001 to ensure no one is disadvantaged by where they live by 2021 need to go much further.