Policy Round Up
The Department of Communities and Local Government has just published its monthly update on progress towards the Structural Reform Plan. The Cabinet Office's monthly progress report has also been published.
According to a recent study carried out by Deloitte, 80% of councils have not made any progress on the localism agenda and are unclear about what Big Society means. This comes in the wake of Liverpool Council's decision to withdraw as one of the four Big Society vanguard communities and Dame Elisabeth Hoodless' attack on a lack of government co-ordination.
In an open letter to all council leaders, and as part of ‘transparent government', Decentralisation Minister Greg Clark has requested that local authorities publish all their spending on the VCS and social enterprise sector (including grants, payments, and copies of contracts and tenders).
The government has published details of the final settlement (or formula grant) for 2011-12 for local authorities. The announcement includes the news that there will be a further £5million to encourage Local Enterprise Partnerships to get underway.
Two consultations have been launched - a Community Right to Buy - assets of community value (to enable community groups to nominate and potentially bid for local amenities and buildings if/when they come up for sale) and a Community Right to Challenge (the power for communities to challenge and bid for the running of local services where they feel they'd do a better job). The consultation will be running until May 3rd, 2011 and Urban Forum will be consulting with members before submitting a formal response.