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


Annex A

GOVERNMENT OFFICE WORK

  Key ODPM work undertaken by GOs covers:

    —  Neighbourhood Renewal: GOs administer funds, support local partnerships in developing strategies, and challenge service providers to achieve performance improvements in deprived communities.

    —  Regional Economic Performance: GOs work closely with Regional Development Agencies in designing and implementing Regional Economic Strategies. They manage European funds to maximise economic development, and broker partnerships and networks.

    —  Local Government: GOs work with Local Authorities and ODPM Lead Officials in their CPA action planning, helping to manage intervention when necessary, and supporting a more general improvement across local authority performance. GOs also negotiate the new Local Area Agreements on behalf of Whitehall Departments (see more on LAAs below)

    —  Housing: GOs currently chair the Regional Housing Boards, which develop regional housing strategies and oversee the allocation of funding. They also have an oversight and approval role for Local Authorities' own housing strategies. GOs support delivery of ODPM's Decent Homes target—identifying where efforts should be targeted, and working directly with local authorities to ensure that fit for purpose strategies are in place.

    —  Planning: GOs assist the Regional Planning Bodies (the Assemblies) in preparing draft revisions to the Regional Strategies and advise the Secretary of State on changes following examinations-in-public. The GOs also assist Local Planning Authorities in ensuring that good quality Local Development Frameworks are produced. They undertake planning casework, and initiate intervention to ensure targets are achieved.

    —  Resilience/Fire Service Modernisation: Each GO has a team co-ordinating regional activity to prepare for civil contingencies and an official co-ordinating regional activity on Fire and Rescue Service modernisation.

GO Work for other Government departments

  GOs work for other departments includes crime, drugs, local transport, children and young people programmes, rural issues, European Structural Funds, Public Health and sports, arts and culture. GOs have also supported key Government operational initiatives such as foot and mouth eradication, community cohesion action following the northern town riots, and the street crime initiative. DfES have recently announced an expanded and strategic role for the GO Network in the delivery of key departmental priorities.




 
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