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Local area agreements (LAAs)
Local area agreements are a contract between central and local government and major local delivery partners to deliver the priorities of local people.
The Secretary of State announced in October 2010 that existing LAAs will be abolished.
'Pickles announces abolition of LAAs' - on the Public Finance website
Who is involved
The lead for the LAA at the local level is the Local Strategic Partnership (LSP). The LAA priorities are taken from the sustainable community strategy (SCS). These priorities are translated into a set of up to 35 national targets drawn from a group of 198 national indicators. They are the basis of a single performance reporting system for local authorities to central government. They can also be supplemented by local targets.
The current round of LAAs was introduced in 2008 and these have been operationally effective since April 2009. Each of the local LAA targets has a specific delivery agreement for that area. This is negotiated and agreed between the LSP and the regional Government Office.
Within LSPs different partners have signed up to deliver each target. Each delivery target has a Senior Responsible Owner (SRO) and a delivery plan, these are being developed in 2009.
Councils and their partners will have the freedom to decide how best to achieve their agreed targets.
LAA links to the Local Development Framework (LDF)
Paragraph 1.6 of Planning Policy Statement 12 states that the LAA should be supported by local planning policy that helps deliver the outcomes agreed.
The LDF should support all targets - not just those related to housing and climate change.
Every local authority in England has at least one of the three housing targets:
- NI 154 - net housing growth
- NI 155 - gross increase in affordable housing
- NI 159 - provision of housing sites.
The final numbers associated with these housing targets have been postponed for final negotiation in 2010.
Environment and climate change targets
There are a number of environmental targets, including those on climate change, waste reduction and biodiversity. These have a direct relationship with the LDF.
Public facilities targets
There are targets which have an important role in considering the siting and access of public facilities. Particularly helpful is NI 175. This indicator measures access to selected core services and facilities by individuals using non-private modes of transport such as walking, cycling and public transport.
NI 175 information - on the ESD toolkit website
Behavioural change targets
There are other targets which address changing behaviours including:
- reducing obesity - NI 55, 56
- promoting active lifestyles - NI 8, 57
- independent living - NI 124, 125, 136, 139
All of these could imply specific action on the part of the LDF through:
- applying standards
- requiring additional infrastructure
- retrofitting existing housing.
LAAs, LSPs and Total Place - on the IDeA website
Local priorities website - This website sets out the agreed priorities in each area.
Details of all LAAs - on the IDeA website
List of all national indicators - on the IDeA partnership and places library