Select Committee on Office of the Deputy Prime Minister: Housing, Planning, Local Government and the Regions Memoranda

Memorandum by Bishop of Liverpool (GRI 24)

  For nearly three years I have been involved with the regeneration of Liverpool as Chair of the New Deal for Communities in Kensington. I am very pleased to know that the Urban Affairs Sub-Committee of the House of Commons Select Committee on ODPM is taking evidence about community regeneration and would be very happy to be called to meet the members if you felt this to be worthwhile. From my own experience I would list eight key questions that need to be addressed in urban regeneration and would be very glad to speak to them.

  1.  How can the benefit system be used as an incentive rather than as a hurdle to community involvement?

  2.  How do we support community members involved in regeneration? On the one hand they can feel patronised as tokens by the agencies and Government, on the other they can be made to feel that they have sold out by their own communities.

  3.  How do we ensure genuine community-led regeneration so that the ideas of the community shape the community? Too may of the delivery plans read the same which suggests that they are much more centrally driven than community led.

  4.  How do we reconcile the need of Government to set targets and timetables for spending and the need to take time in engaging and securing the support of the local community?

  5.  How do you bind into the partnership agency representatives of a level senior enough to make decisions?

  6.  What is the best way to enfranchise the whole community in the regeneration process?

  7.  What concrete examples have helped to make the community feel that progress is really happening?

  8.  SRB was business-led with some community awareness. NDC is community-led with some business awareness. How do we develop a programme with equal emphasis on community and business so as to make our neighbourhoods better places to live and work?

  I look forward to hearing from you in due course.

James Liverpool

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