Select Committee on Public Administration Minutes of Evidence


Single Regeneration Budget—The Community Context

  18.  At its inception, the SRB was hailed as a mechanism to "shift power from Whitehall to local communities and make Government more responsive to local needs with priorities set locally in the light of local needs"[4]. It remains to this day an important instrument in the Government's drive to tackle social exclusion and promote equality of opportunity.

  19.  The majority of SRB funding (including new SRB Round 6 funding) goes to support large comprehensive schemes in the most deprived areas. The Index of Local Deprivation highlights priority community areas including a great concentration in inner East London. The balance of SRB funding normally goes to support schemes in areas which still have significant pockets of deprivation but are not included in the Index.

  20.  Although no two regeneration initiatives are the same, they should all profile generic regeneration strategy characteristics including a shared vision for a defined target area with strong inter-links with the sub-regional economic and regeneration strategies. Central to the importance of any initiative is the involvement of the local community. Demonstrating the mere existence of community representatives in partnerships is no longer enough and most bids should have capacity building as a key objective.

  21.  The current SRB Round 6 Bidding Guidance explicitly states that bids "must explain how local communities and the voluntary sector have been involved in devising and developing the bid, what role they will have in implementing the scheme, and what arrangements will be put in place to fund local community projects".

  22.  This is "strong guidance"—the challenge ahead remains the need to break down the barriers to putting communities at the heart of the decision-making process.

4   DoE November 1993. Back

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