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Local Area Agreements (LAA) mark a radical change in the relationship between central Government and local authority areas. It is an Agreement between Central Government departments and Local Strategic Partnerships which focuses on a core set of outcomes for the local area. An LAA simplifies the number of funding streams received by local areas from central government and give local areas much greater freedom to spend on local priorities.
LAAs were launched in 2005/06 and were piloted in 20 areas of the Country, including Wolverhampton, Stoke and Coventry in the West Midlands.
In April 2006, LAAs were rolled-out to a further 66 areas including Birmingham, Herefordshire, Shropshire, Walsall, and Worcestershire in the West Midlands.
The remaining 63 areas of the Country had LAAs in place by April 2007, including Dudley and Sandwell boroughs in the Black Country. Details of Dudley’s 2007/08 LAA can be found on the link to the left.
The Local Government White Paper ‘Strong and Prosperous Communities’ published in October 2006, set out fundamentally different arrangements for Local Area Agreements for 2008/09.
New Local Area Agreements, 2007/08 onwards
The Local Government White Paper ‘Strong and Prosperous Communities’ published in October 2006 set out fundamentally different arrangements for Local Area Agreements.
The ambition of Government is for LAAs to provide local authorities and partners with the flexibility and capacity to deliver the best solutions for their areas through a reformed relationship between central and local government.
Communities and Local Government Department, leading on Local Area Agreements, state the following:
‘New LAAs will no longer be an add-on to the multiple national performance frameworks under which local authorities operate – they are replacing them.
The new arrangements are based on a stronger role for local authorities to lead their communities, shape their area and with other local service providers to innovate and respond to local needs.
This vote of confidence in LAAs will see them fulfil the ambitions voiced by many in local government from the time of their original conception.”
Dudley’s new three-year Local Area Agreement from 2008/09 is called the ‘Next Generation LAA’.