Policy red tape ‘hinders’ Scots local partnerships

Policy red tape ‘hinders’ Scots local partnerships 

Jamie Carpenter
Regeneration & Renewal

Regeneration partnerships intended to improve public services in Scotland are being hampered by a large number of policy initiatives and fragmented funding arrangements, a report says.

The report, published last week by public spending watchdog Audit Scotland, says red tape makes it hard for Community Planning Partnerships (CPPs) to meet local needs.

CPPs are Scotland’s equivalent of England’s local strategic partnerships and bring together a range of public, private and voluntary sector partners. The partnerships are responsible for producing regeneration outcome agreements, which inform how Scotland’s flagship Community Regeneration Fund – worth £318 million between 2005 and 2008 – is spent in their area.

The report says that CPPs operate in a ‘complex policy and organisational environment’. It says that some have demonstrated ‘real commitment and willingness’ to work around the problems, but adds that in other cases the difficulties have impeded progress.

Accounts Commission for Scotland chair Alastair MacNish said: ‘The complexities of the current system make it difficult for partnerships to achieve their aims. The Scottish Executive needs to help them overcome problems they face, such as by agreeing a limited number of policy priorities and reviewing the number of funding streams and partnerships required.’

A spokesman for Communities Scotland, the Scottish Executive’s housing and regeneration agency, said: ‘We welcome the call to rationalise funding streams. We are already some way down this line with the merger of three separate funding streams into the Community Regeneration Fund.’