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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Executive held on 06/02/2007
Local Area Agreements



APPENDIX V
Waverley Borough Council

executive - 6TH february 2007

Title:
LOCAL AREA AGREEMENTS
[Wards Affected: All]

Summary and purpose:

This report is an interim report on Local Area Agreements setting out the current situation in Surrey and changes emerging. It also refers to the Surrey Local Public Service Agreement, and recommends a further report with more detail on the implications arising from Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Bill.

Environmental implications:

There are no direct environmental implications associated with this report, although the Local Area Agreement should address key concerns in this area.

Social / community implications:

There are no direct social and community implications associated with this report, although the Local Area Agreement should address key concerns in this area.

E-Government implications:

There are no direct e-government implications associated with this report.

Resource and legal implications:

There are no direct resource implications associated with this report. However, Waverley is involved in delivering some Local Public Service Agreement targets for which reward payments are possible upon delivery of targets.

Partnerships:

Local Area Agreements and Local Public Service Agreements can only be successful if the outcomes are delivered in partnership between the County Council and a wide range of public sector bodies and other organisations. This report refers to some of the implications for Waverley.

Background

1. In October 2005, the Executive received a report setting out how the proposed Local Area Agreement for Surrey was developing. This was followed by an updating report on 7th February 2006 prior to the Government signing the LAA with Surrey.

What is a Local Area Agreement?

2. A Local Area Agreement (or LAA) is a three year agreement that sets out the priorities for a local area, agreed between Central Government (represented by the Government Office) and a local area, represented by the County Council (in a two/three tier area) and other key partners through represented by the County level Local Strategic Partnership (LSP). 3. The primary objective of an LAA is to deliver genuinely sustainable communities through better outcomes for local people. According to the DCLG (Department for Communities and Local Government), LAAs also have secondary objectives of:

improving Central and Local Government relations
enhancing efficiency
strengthening partnership working
offering a framework within which local authorities can enhance their community leadership role 4. In general, LAAs are structured around four blocks (or policy fields):

children and young people;
safer and stronger communities;
healthier communities and older people; and
economic development and enterprise.

5. However, there is some flexibility in this and Surrey’s LAA has six main themes: Economic Development; Travel; Access & Mobility; Housing & Associated Development; Changing Lifestyles; Communities, Culture & Identity and The Future of Public Services & Democracy. Each of these themes has a series of outcomes to be delivered by a range of partners in Surrey.

LAA Refresh

6. Given the timescale to create the first Local Area Agreement and the fact that the County Council was about to conclude a Local Public Service Agreement (see Paragraph 10 below), with the Government, the intention was to focus on key issues that needed the most attention, rather than covering every service area in the Surrey. LAAs can be reviewed or ‘refreshed’ annually by agreement between the local area and the government office. Surrey has just gone through this process and submitted a refreshed LAA, although the opportunity for input from Waverley was very limited. 7. From 2008 there will be a new form of Local Area Agreement which could be more comprehensive in its scope. In the transitional year 2007/2008 it is proposed that Waverley works with the County Council to ensure that local priorities are represented in the new LAA. The review of Waverley’s own LSP will need to consider how it can best influence the process and get its voice heard.

Future of LAAs

8. At the moment just over 500 million of funding streams go through local area agreements. The proposals in the Local Government White Paper will take this up to 4.7 billion. The presumption in future will be that, unless there is an exceptionally good reason to the contrary, all area-based funding will go – un-ringfenced through the LAA.

9. The LAA will become the main delivery contract between central government, local government and its partners. To strengthen this partnership the Government has proposed a new duty to co-operate on individually named partners and the local authority responsible for delivering the LAA (i.e. the County Council) and the County level Local Strategic Partnership. 10. The new duty will be matched by a requirement on the County Council to consider local priorities emerging from Community Strategies at a District level. However, this is not a ‘duty’ and there is concern that they could pay lip service to local priorities.

11. Following decisions of the County Council and Districts in Surrey to not apply to become unitary local authorities, there is a further catalyst to improve collaboration and service delivery for local communities. This may take place across the whole of Surrey or among clusters reflecting local needs and priorities. It is important that Waverley plays an active part in influencing the priorities of importance for its communities.

Local Public Service Agreements (LPSA)

12. Local PSAs were developed in 2000 from complementary ideas in the LGA and the government. Central and local government (at a unitary or county level on behalf of the wider area) voluntarily agree stretching performance targets that would deliver real improvements in outcomes for local people, and contribute towards the achievement of national aims. Having agreed specific outcome targets, the government relies on the council to decide how best to achieve that result. Success attracts a reward grant, and there is a contribution at the outset to "pump-prime" the improvements. 13. Surrey agreed its 3-year LPSA in 2005 and attracted a potential reward grant of 25m if the partners deliver 12 ‘stretch’ targets. Waverley is contributing to the delivery of eight of the twelve targets. A further report will be presented to the Executive outlining progress on each of these LPSA targets.

Conclusion

14. This report provides a brief update on the Local Area Agreement and Local Public Service Agreement in Surrey. With the emerging Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Bill there will be implications for involvement in future Local Area Agreements from 2008 for both Waverley and Waverley’s Local Strategic Partnership. Officers are intending to bring a further report with more detail on the implications for Waverley and its services.

Recommendation

It is recommended that this report be noted and the Executive request a further report covering progress in the implementation of the Local Public Service Agreement and proposals for working with Surrey County Council in delivering the new Local Area Agreement from 2008.

Background Papers (MD)

There are no background papers (as defined by Section 100D(5) of the Local Government Act 1972) relating to this report.

CONTACT OFFICER:

Name: Iain Lynch Telephone: 01483 523203

E-mail: ilynch@waverley.gov.uk

Comms/exec/2006-07/291