Leicester's Local Area Agreement

What are Local Area Agreements?

Local Area Agreements are a new initiative that allows the Council and the Leicester Partnership greater freedom to decide how large amounts of government funding will be spent locally. The idea is that government money can be used more effectively if there is less 'red tape' involved.

Under a Local Area Agreement we still have to use government money to achieve government priorities but we can also identify local priorities. Processes attached to a large number of funding streams will also be simplified so that local partnerships can focus more on service delivery.

No new cash is being provided. We expect that around £100million of existing funding will be included in Leicester's Local Area Agreement in the three years from April 2006. Even if the actual figure turns out to be less, tens of millions of pounds are sure to be involved.

Advantages include:

How do Local Area Agreements work?

Local Area Agreements are built on four blocks:

The outcomes selected for each block will reflect the major local priorities identified in the Strategy for Leicester (a document that brings together the Community Strategy and Local Neighbourhood Renewal Strategy). In addition to the outcomes selected locally, there are eleven mandatory outcomes set by central government.

The Leicester Partnership and the City Council will deliver Leicester's Local Area Agreement. The Government Office for the East Midlands will broker the agreement and manage it for national government.

We expect that each thematic block will be delivered by the matching local partnership. For example, the Public Health Partnership will be largely responsible for Older People And Healthier Communities, the Children's Federation for Children And Young People (and so on). A Partnership Leadership Group will lead on the Local Area Agreement overall and the Council will be the accountable body.

Delivery

Local Area Agreements will allow partner agencies more freedom to design and implement local solutions to local problems. How that delivery takes place will depend on the circumstances involved. The principle of 'joined-up' multi-agency working is central to the overall success of the agreement.

How long do Local Area Agreements last?

Three years. Central government expects every local authority in England to have a Local Area Agreement in place by 2007. 21 local authorities took part in the pilot phase and 66 local authorities (including Leicester) had their LAAs agreed for a 2006/7 start, all other areas will have their LAAs in place for 2007/8.

Future Developments

Looking ahead, Government is aiming to further simplify funding and allow greater local freedoms by 2008, probably by merging current funding streams into one 'single pot' per council. It is probable that the Comprehensive Performance Assessment will be changed at around the same time to reflect the growing government focus on local partnership and performance.

How can I find out more?

On the web:

The Improvement And Development Agency (Idea) provide a useful Local Area Agreement Toolkit

The Office Of The Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) Local Area Agreement pages

By contacting:

Adam Archer, Project Manager, Leicester City Council
(0116) 252 6091 (mailto:adam.archer@leicester.gov.uk)

Papers relating to Local Area Agreements

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Updated May 2007

LAA Updates