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Neighbourhood & Economic Renewal

SIGOMA calls on the Government to:

  • Ensure neighbourhood renewal funding continues to recognise pockets of deprivation within more affluent areas
  • Consider more effective targeting of available resources
  • Work with Government to deliver on the Worklessness Agenda
  • Support the Local Area Agreement process

Renewal of our neighbourhoods through the improvement of skills to improve life chances and a thriving economy to support choice will continue to be key to the success of SIGOMA authorities.

Whilst overall levels of deprivation have improved significantly as measured by the new Index of Multiple Deprivation 2007, at the neighbourhood level 84 of the 100 most deprived Super Output Areas are in SIGOMA authorities.

Comparison of levels of deprivation in SIGOMA areas, 2004 and 2007

Clearly, pockets and clusters of deprivation are more prevalent in SIGOMA areas than elsewhere in the country and bring their own challenges. The Neighbourhood Renewal Fund (NRF)(PDF, 735KB) has been crucial in starting to address the complex deprivation issues that our communities face and has proved much needed resources for the most deprived communities across the country as whole.

SIGOMA lobbied hard for the continuation of the overall level of resources for the crucial services funded by NRF which were in danger of being lost and consequentially to avoid losing the progress that has been made to date in our most deprived neighbourhoods. Whilst the neighbourhood renewal fund has now come to an end the Government did announce significant levels of continuing resources to be targeted at reducing worklessness within those same deprived areas, a key factor in delivering more sustainable economic and skilled based communities.

Clearly, such targeting of resources is welcomed particularly alongside the increased freedom provided by the Area Based Grant (ABG) to use resources according to local needs and circumstances.

The flexibility should ensure that appropriate actions can be taken to deal with the local problems. Solutions can be tailor made.

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