Neighbourhood budgets extended to 100 new communities

11 Dec 13
The Our Place neighbourhood budget programme is to be rolled out to at least 100 new areas in England

Communities minister Stephen Williams confirmed yesterday that the community budgeting programme, which brings local people and service providers together to identify where improvements could be made, would be extended. Community development group Locality will be responsible for overseeing the project leading a consortium that includes the Local Government Association and the National Association of Local Councils.

Ministers first announced in July that the Our Place scheme had been successful in 12 pilot areas and would be more widely deployed. 

Speaking in Poplar in east London, Williams said the project would give influence back to local communities. In Poplar, one of the pilot projects has developed plans to save the NHS £4m over five years by promoting healthy lifestyles through volunteer ‘health champions’.

‘We want other areas right across the country to enjoy these benefits too by taking more responsibility for the services and spending decisions in their neighbourhoods,’ Williams added.

‘The consortium has a wealth of experience working with communities and helping them to deliver change and I’m confident that together we can create the Our Place movement we want to see.’

Locality chief executive Steve Wyler said community organisation were keen to get involved in collaborative service delivery that could better meet the needs of local communities.

‘We have considerable expertise to draw on within Locality, our membership and from our executive partner the Local Government Association as well as delivery associates like the Community Development Foundation,’ he said.

‘The Our Place approach places local people firmly at the heart of service design, decision making, planning and delivery because they know what will work best for their community.’

The announcement comes after Williams’ predecessor Don Foster told Public Finance in September that the scheme could eventually be rolled out nationwide.


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