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					                                                              Item No.




                       Resources and Corporate
                       Services

              Date:     29 January 2007

     Classification:    For General Release

    Title of Report:    Local Government White Paper & 2006 Local
                        Government Bill




         Report of:     Director of Policy and Communications


   Wards Involved:      N/A


    Policy Context:     Management of the Council – the White Paper and
                        subsequent Bill set out national government policy
                        for local government. It is important that the City
                        Council is aware of the challenges and
                        opportunities offered by government policy,
                        identifies links with the Council’s policies and
                        programmes and responds appropriately to these.

Financial Summary:      There may be some financial implications arising
                        from the Bill but it is not possible to quantify them
                        at this stage – further work will be undertaken as
                        the Bill progresses and its provisions are enacted.




    Report Author:      Nicola Howe

        Extension:      3384
1.    Summary

1.1   This report asks Members to note the contents of the 2006 Local Government
      White Paper, and the subsequent Local Government & Public Involvement in
      Health Bill 2006 and highlights the implications for Westminster.

1.2   Jo Gordon, Deputy Director & Head of Locality (London North), Government
      Office for London (GOL), will present GOL’s perspective on the White Paper
      and Bill and answer questions.

2.    Recommendation

2.1   That the Committee note the contents of the report and considers the Council’s
      response to the White Paper as set out in section 5.3.

3.    Context

3.1   The Local Government White Paper, ‘Strong and prosperous communities’ was
      published in October 2006, following a government consultation programme
      over the past eighteen months. Its stated aim was to build on the successes of
      local government over the last decade and ‘rebalance the relationship between
      central government, local government and local people’, giving local people
      and local communities more influence and power to improve their lives.

3.2   The Local Government & Public Involvement in Health Bill, taking forward the
      proposals set out in the White Paper, was published on 12 th December 2006. It
      will be accompanied in the spring by several pieces of statutory guidance
      reflecting the detail of the White Paper. The Bill should be enacted during the
      current session of Parliament. The Lyons Report (now expected in the spring)
      is likely to have proposals about devolving power and financing.

4.    Content of the White Paper and Bill

4.1   This report focuses on the contents of the White Paper because as well as
      setting out legislative changes (covered in the Bill) the White Paper also
      highlights approaches that the government recommends. The White Paper
      therefore gives a broader picture of the government’s vision for local
      government. At Appendix B is a brief summary of the White Paper chapters
      highlighting the points in the Bill. The key White Paper proposals are:

          A new performance framework, cutting the number of national
           performance indicators to around 200 and targets to around 50, and
           replacing the Comprehensive Performance Assessment with a new
           coherent and risk-based inspection regime. (The Bill does not specify an
           upper limit for indicators and targets suggesting that in practice the
           government may not reduce numbers as drastically as promised);

          An increased role for councils as strategic leaders and ‘place shapers’,
           including stronger Local Strategic Partnerships, and duties on local
           stakeholders to co-operate with the council in these areas;

          Local Area Agreements rolled out to all councils and to become key
           contracts with central government setting out priorities for improvement;
              Commitment to stronger regions, identifying London as leading the way;

              Strengthening the executive role with 4-year Leaders or elected Mayors;

              An enhanced role for ward Councillors including a new Community Call for
               Action, simplified conduct rules and ‘neighbourhood championship’.

              Strengthening of overview and scrutiny, requiring key local agencies to
               cooperate and have regard to scrutiny recommendations;

              Some local devolution of power – key points are making bye-laws without
               Secretary of State approval, easier creation of parish councils and
               encouragement to put in place neighbourhood arrangements;

              Encouragement to make community cohesion a core local policy; and

              The need for delivering efficiency gains through smarter procurement,
               better commissioning of services and competition is stressed.

4.2   Appendix A sets detailed information on the implications for Westminster

5     Implications for Westminster - Summary

5.1   Overall the White Paper gives a positive message about the government’s
      recognition of the unique and valuable role of local government, its intention to
      devolve power to local authorities and to take a proportionate response to
      monitoring and inspection. It is a first step and does not promise the level of
      devolution of power which local authorities have been lobbying for nor does it
      allow excellent authorities such as Westminster additional powers and
      freedoms but it is a welcome new start. The Bill retreats from White Paper
      aspirations in several areas – e.g. limiting national performance targets.

5.2   Neither the White Paper nor the Bill contain any proposals on local government
      funding as this will await the outcome of the Lyons review – current indications
      are that information on the conclusions of Lyons will now not be available until
      spring 2007. The Local Government Association’s (LGA) principal concern is
      that the Bill allows the Secretary of State to impose restructuring on two tier
      councils. Other local government associations have highlighted the very limited
      devolution of power and a lack of justification for the changes to the executive.

5.3   It is suggested that the Council’s response to the White Paper and Bill should
      have the following elements – the City Council:

                Welcomes the positive message on devolution expressed in the White
                 Paper but notes that the Bill does not in fact offer a significant devolution
                 of powers to local authorities;

                Notes that the White Paper has no proposals on local government
                 finance and regrets that the White Paper/Bill and Lyons Review have
                 proceeded separately when the resourcing and responsibilities of local
                 government are inextricably linked;
             Does not support the further changes to executive arrangements as
              they are unnecessary and restrictive but welcomes the strengthening of
              the scrutiny function and would like to see scrutiny powers extended
              more widely over local service providers;

             Does not support the voluntary extension of parishes to London as
              these will inevitably make local government more complex and be more
              expensive than locally-developed neighbourhood arrangements within
              boroughs;

             Has concerns about the government’s approach to regional
              government as set out in the new GLA Bill and the strengthening of
              GOL’s role and considers that regional governance should be focussed
              around a single, accountable body.

             Would like to work with the government and Audit Commission on
              developing various elements of the new performance regime; and

             Is already taking forward good practice in a number of areas including
              the new neighbourhoods approach, greater business efficiency, strong
              partnership working and citizen engagement.

Appendix A – Detailed comments on the contents of the Local Government White
Paper/Bill
Appendix B – Summary of the Local Government White Paper



Lead officer: Director of Policy & Communications
Report author: Nicola Howe, Policy Manager
             nhowe@westminster.gov.uk / 02076413384

The following background papers are available on request:

   Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Bill 2006

   Strong and prosperous communities: the Local Government White Paper 2006 –
    Department for Communities & Local Government

   Local Government Association briefings on the White Paper and Bill
Detailed comments on the content of the White Paper and Bill - Appendix A

1.1   More detailed information on the implications for Westminster are set out under
      the following headings :
               Governance
               Performance
               Neighbourhoods and localism
               Partnership working
               Community cohesion
               Better engagement with local people
               Efficiency
               London

1.2   Governance

1.2.1 Key proposals are changes to the statutory executive arrangements and
      strengthening of the scrutiny function. Councils will have to choose between (a)
      a directly elected Mayor, (b) a directly elected executive or (c) an indirectly
      elected Leader, all with a four year term and enhanced powers to set executive
      terms of reference.

1.2.2 There is little evidence of public appetite for change following the major
      alteration to governance arrangements required by the Local Government Act
      2000 and the comprehensive consultation that took place at that point. It is not
      clear why there is no fourth option to retain the current arrangements,
      especially if a council has high public satisfaction levels.

1.2.3 The option closest to Westminster’s current arrangements is the indirectly
      elected leader model. It does not appear that councils will have to undertake
      exhaustive consultation before amending their structure but clearly even the
      change to an indirectly elected leader will require additional work.

1.2.4 Overview & Scrutiny Committees will be specifically empowered to consider
      matters relating to local public service providers and the actions of key public
      bodies ‘insofar as their actions relate to the functions or service delivery within
      an authority’. Those bodies will have to respond formally to O & S requests for
      information and recommendations. Committees will be encouraged to focus on
      strategic and neighbourhood issues.

1.2.5 Strengthening scrutiny powers is very positive although it is not clear that some
      of the bodies Westminster has successfully scrutinised such as the Post Office
      and Thames Water would be covered – it would be helpful if the Bill or any
      subsequent statutory guidance defines local partner organisations more widely
      or specifies local service providers such as utilities companies. Councils should
      have maximum freedom to set scrutiny programmes that reflect the local
      situation rather than having to scrutinise all strategic documents and policies.

1.2.6 More local control of the standards framework and a relaxation of the position
      on Members conduct in relation to planning and licensing responds to concerns
      across local government about the current systems, and are to be welcomed.
1.3    Performance

1.3.1 The new simplified performance framework covering all outcomes secured
      by the Council alone or in partnership is welcome and the Council would be
      keen to work jointly with the government and Audit Commission to develop and
      test elements of the new framework. The Council has long argued for a
      reduction in the number of national performance indicators and targets so this
      proposal is positive and we would want to maintain pressure as the Bill has no
      upper limit set on numbers of targets. It is absolutely crucial that the
      government maintains its commitment to fewer and meaningful targets – the
      White Paper already suggests new mandatory targets around climate change.

1.3.2 The Council has developed an innovative Local Area Agreement with locally
      identified priorities and it is important for successful local authorities to have as
      much ‘space’ as possible for local outcomes and indicators as opposed to
      national ones.

1.3.3 The new assessment regime, the Comprehensive Area Assessment,
      replaces the CPA, Children’s Services Joint Area Review and social care
      ratings. This simpler overall assessment of performance is very sensible, and
      should reduce the cost of inspection to the council as well as being easier for
      residents to understand. The CAA will include an annual risk judgement, a
      Direction of Travel score and a Use of Resources judgement. The Council has
      some concerns about how the government will implement these and is working
      with the Local Government Association on this.

1.3.4 A reduced programme of automatic inspections and emphasis on inspection
      based on risk will be very welcome but local government will need to watch the
      situation to ensure the inspection burden does actually lessen. The change to
      the Best Value duty (away from mandatory plans and reviews to a focus on
      citizens involvement in service delivery) supports Westminster’s current
      approach.

1.4    Neighbourhoods and localism

1.4.1 The proposals to strengthen councils neighbourhood approach is very much in
      line with the Council’s new neighbourhood programme. In particular, the
      expanded role of ward Members reflects Westminster’s agenda closely. Our
      programme at the moment does not include devolved budgets but this could be
      considered as it develops. Similarly we are not providing neighbourhood
      charters but will be looking at annual ward reports to constituents which with
      our new neighbourhood information system will show how the Council
      responds to local needs.

1.4.2 There is little evidence that Westminster residents are keen to establish
      parishes (a new power for London boroughs) and the neighbourhood
      arrangements could, in the long term, deal with similar issues to those
      managed by parishes if the demand is there. It is obvious that the introduction
      of parishes means a further tier of local government which inevitably will
      increase the complexity of local governance from residents’ perspective, have
      additional costs and is bound to involve additional bureaucracy. This is an area
      where the City Council could state that it does not support the change. The
      relaxation of the requirement for Secretary of State approval for bye-laws is
      welcome and will help the Council respond quickly to emerging local
      environmental issues.

1.4.3 The government is keen to encourage community management and
      ownership of assets. Tenants already manage estate community facilities
      and local users are often critical to driving improvement of environmental
      assets. However value for money and the representativeness and stability of
      groups would need to be carefully considered if the community ownership
      approach was extended. The White Paper also advocates more
      neighbourhood management and Westminster has a national pathfinder pilot in
      Church Street as well as supporting neighbourhood management in the other
      renewal areas.

1.5    Partnership working

1.5.1 All unitary councils will have to enter into Local Area Agreements (LAA). New
      duties and guidance will strengthen Local Strategic Partnerships (LSPs) and
      LAAs by requiring various public agencies to be involved in them. This will
      reinforce the Westminster City Partnership as the leading local partnership and
      hopefully will ensure that government agencies are fully engaged in our LAA.

1.5.2 There are other local bodies that it would have been useful to require to work
      with us including NHS Hospital/Foundation Trusts and housing associations
      and this is a point the City Council could lobby on. It is also surprising that the
      Bill seems to give the Secretary of State the power to ‘designate’ purely local
      LAA targets, meaning that his/her permission will be needed to change targets
      that relate to local priorities. We are keen to work with GOL to build on our LAA
      experience to minimise bureaucracy.

1.5.3 The government also intends to direct that the Leader chairs the LSP, that
      every area has a health and well-being partnership and that lead Cabinet
      members link with relevant thematic partnerships – none of these will pose any
      problems for Westminster. The City Partnership will be asked in February to
      review its operation to ensure it complies with the expected statutory guidance
      on LSPs. The White Paper suggests that all partnership arrangements should
      have a commissioning focus - Westminster’s LAA has already been recognised
      as showing best practice in partnership commissioning.

1.5.4 The Local Ombudsman’s powers are to be extended so he can investigate
      where functions are delivered jointly or through partnership. This may require
      some review of partnerships’ arrangements around complaints, depending on
      advice that the Ombudsman is expected to issue soon.

1.5.5 Guidance will be issued to ensure community strategies and other plans are
      prepared with regard to each other and councils will have greater flexibility in
      developing plans. Westminster’s City Plan was revised recently using this
      pragmatic approach which worked very well. Proposals to simplify the highly
      regulated process of developing the Local Development Framework are very
      welcome and officers will take advantage of these if the timetable permits.
1.6    Community cohesion

1.6.1 The White Paper’s call for councils to place community cohesion and
      integration at the heart of what they do is very much in line with Westminster’s
      approach. Community cohesion is a major theme of both One City and the City
      Plan and the Leader has recently appointed a lead member for community
      cohesion. The WCP held a major conference on cohesion in 2006 and both
      Westminster’s Faith Exchange and the Westminster Partnership for Racial
      Equality are contributing to tackling cohesion issues.

1.7   Better engagement

1.7.1 Improved engagement with local people is a major theme of the White Paper.
      The Council already has some very good practice in relation to innovative
      communication, accessible information, consultation and involving people and
      this is an area where we could offer advice and ideas to the government.

1.7.2 The new Community Call for Action (CCfA) formalises current practice where
      ward members take up issues of concern to their constituents. It seems
      somewhat bureaucratic but it unlikely to have an impact in Westminster
      because the neighbourhood programme has measures to increase support for
      ward members in their ‘local champion’ role including the Area Integration
      meetings and extended ‘call-in’ rights to O & S Committees.

1.7.3 The White Paper also suggests local authorities could prepare a local
      engagement strategy bringing together local partners consultation and
      engagement plans and promoting a coordinated approach. The Council has
      recently put in place arrangements to improve information sharing around
      consultation and this could be further developed.

1.8   Efficiency

1.8.1 The White Paper emphasises that ambitious efficiency gains will be expected
      from local authorities over the coming years, starting with the 2007
      Comprehensive Spending Review. To achieve this there must be improved
      collaboration across the public sector, greater competition in local government
      service markets and more use of business improvement techniques.

1.8.2 Westminster is a leader in this area, particularly in opening services to
      competition and market forces and continues to make efficiency gains. The
      WorkSmart programme places the council in a good position to address this
      although as a local authority which has already made significant progress,
      achieving significant new gains may be more challenging for Westminster than
      for less efficient councils. The Council’s new ‘procurement platform’ which will
      improve the way the business is transacted from April 2007 is entirely in line
      with the White Paper’s emphasis on e-procurement and business practices.

1.8.3 The government expects that with its move to a three year grant formula (2008-
      2011) councils will publish three year council tax projections. This expectation
      does not take account of realities at local level such as unfunded pressures,
      unplanned events (for example 7/7), the development of neighbourhood
      agendas or local elections. As part of the 2006/07 budget the Council identified
      an indicative working assumption for 2007/08 council tax levels.
1.9    London

1.9.1 The White Paper chapter on ‘Strong cities, strategic regions’ makes few firm
      proposals, deferring to a review on regional economic development which will
      feed into the 2007 Comprehensive Spending Review. It does however identify
      economic development, spatial planning, managing housing supply and
      demand and culture as key areas for sub-national working. The Bill does not
      address regional powers and arrangements at all.

1.9.2 It is implied that London is a leader in regional working as it already has a
      strong structure with the Mayor and Greater London Authority. Hopefully some
      of the lobbying the Council is undertaking around the extension of Mayoral
      powers including clarity about strategic responsibilities, appropriate sub-
      regional groupings and the need for the Mayor to collaborate more positively,
      will influence the government’s wider thinking on regions.

1.9.3 The City Council has already pointed out the contradiction and overlap inherent
      in both strengthening and extending the role of the Government Office for
      London and extending the powers of the GLA. It runs counter to the
      government’s commitment to local devolution to put such emphasis on a
      stronger regional tier.

1.9.4 Multi-Area Agreements (MAAs) between different councils are identified as one
      way to promote regional working. The Council already has in place a range of
      partnerships that cross borough boundaries. MAAs could offer opportunities to
      build on existing arrangements but care would need to be taken to minimise
      bureaucracy.


1.10   In addition there are a number of other specific proposals to be noted:
        New Local Involvement Networks (Links) will be set up replacing Patients
           Forums. These will facilitate the involvement of local people in and
           consultation on local care services and may refer issues to the relevant
           overview and scrutiny committees.
        In relation to planning a more proactive role in managing housing supply is
           envisaged, councils will be pivotal in achieving sustainable development
           and the executive will be able to determine significant planning applications.


1.11   Overall the White Paper promises more than the Bill delivers. Westminster is
       well-positioned in already taking forward many of the approaches in the White
       Paper.
Appendix B – Summary of the White Paper on Local Government
The new White Paper on local government, Strong and prosperous communities, is in
two volumes, with the main proposals for change in volume one, and volume two
containing thematic chapters on: Community safety, Health and well-being,
Vulnerable people, Children, young people and families, Economic development,
housing and planning, Climate change, and the Third Sector. This notes summarises
the main changes proposed in volume one.

Those points now included in the draft Bill are indicated by a (B).

Introduction
The White Paper's introduction sets a context for the proposals which follow. It
emphasises that public services have improved since 1997, and for that to continue,
councils, their partners, and local communities, need to be given more power to shape
services and communities. It states that: 'Since 1997 local government has made
huge progress in terms of its performance and reputation.' It stresses that the
proposals in the White Paper are based on the experience of the best local
authorities.
Community involvement, partnership and leadership are important themes in the
White Paper.

Responsive services and empowered communities
Service improvement needs to be driven by individual choice and community
involvement in decision-making. Specific proposals are:
      Choice in local services should be extended where possible, and illustrations
       are given from existing developments in care of under-fives, choice-based
       letting for tenants, and individual budgets for social care.
      There will be reform of Best Value requirements on the existing duty to consult,
       extended to include promotion of wider public information, consultation,
       involvement in decision-making, and devolution of service delivery (B). Flexible,
       local approaches will be encouraged and examples of good practice are given.
       There will be new statutory guidance on this.
      There will be more emphasis on reporting performance and other service
       information locally.
      All councils are encouraged to introduce a systematic approach to how they
       deal with public petitions.
      Community Call for Action arrangements will be introduced to formalise the
       right of local people to raise local concerns with their ward councillor on local
       government matters and issues covered by partnerships within which the
       council is engaged. This approach is already included in the current Police and
       Justice Bill, on community safety issues. Councillors will act as
       gatekeepers, and will be able to reject vexatious complaints. If the matter
       cannot be dealt with in other ways, it could be referred to the council's overview
       and scrutiny committee(s),which can require a response from relevant public
       bodies. (B)
      There will be some improvements to the processes of the Local Government
       Ombudsman.
      Neighbourhood management, and neighbourhood charters that set out service
       standards and priorities are encouraged.
      The government is also interested in community management and ownership
       of assets, and will set up a review of how this can be promoted. In the
       meantime there will be a fund to support refurbishment of buildings where the
       council will transfer these to community management.
      Steps will be taken to promote tenant management.
      The process to create new town and parish councils will be simplified,
       devolving this to local government, rather than requiring government
       involvement. They may be called neighbourhood or community councils.
       Councils will be able to consider other forms of community governance as part
       of this process. London will be given the same rights to establish parish
       councils as other places.
      The government will seek to rationalise arrangements to support community
       groups.

Effective, accountable and responsive local government
This section emphasises the importance of local government leadership and proposes
a range of changes to council constitutions:
      Legislation will change the available executive options to three: a directly
       elected mayor; a leader elected by the council but who must have a four year
       term of office; a new model of a directly elected executive (ie each member of
       the cabinet directly elected by the public). (B)
      The mayor or leader will hold all the executive powers, will be able to decide
       whether or how to delegate them, will appoint cabinet members and allocate
       portfolios. (B)
      Councils will be able to move to a mayoral constitution without a referendum,
       although there will still be powers for the public to petition for a referendum.
       (B)
      District councils with a population below 85,000 with a modified committee
       system will not be required to change.
      Overview and scrutiny powers will be extended over key partner organisations
       also covered by the duty to co-operate with Local Area Agreements (discussed
       later) and will be engaged with the Community Calls to Action. (B)
      Councils will be enabled, but not required, to move to a system of all-out
       elections. This will include metropolitan councils, which are currently required
       to elect by thirds.
      Single member wards will be an option, but not a requirement.
      The government will set up a review of the incentives and barriers to serving on
       councils and seek ways to promote greater diversity and more candidates to
       put themselves forward. Capacity building for councillors will be supported.
      Councils will gain powers to enact byelaws, without Secretary of State
       confirmation, and enforce them through fixed penalty notices. (B)
      There will be legislation to simplify the Standards framework, to create a more
       locally based regime, and amend the rules on personal and prejudicial
       interests.

Strong cities, strategic regions
This section discusses the government's approach to economic development,
particularly city regions. However, decisions are deferred, pending a report feeding
into the Comprehensive Spending Review. Evidence such as the government's State
of the Cities research is reviewed, which has emphasised the need to devolve powers
to enhance economic development. Specific proposals are:
      Continuing review of the need to improve sub-national working, particularly on
       regeneration and economic growth.
      Reform of Passenger Transport Authorities and Executives, with more council
       representation, to enable a more coherent approach to transport in the major
       cities.
      Encourage development of Multi-Area Agreements (like a LAA between several
       authorities) between authorities and partners, to support cross-boundary
       collaboration, and other local partnership arrangements such as boards of
       council leaders.
      Where there is local support, to encourage stronger leadership models such as
       elected mayors.

Local government as a strategic leader and place-shaper
This section reviews the council's community leadership and place-shaping role and
puts forward proposals to develop Local Strategic Partnerships (LSPs) and Local Area
Agreements (LAAs). Specific proposals are:
      There will be a duty on councils to prepare a Local Area Agreement in
       consultation with others, alongside the Sustainable Community Strategy, and a
       duty of named partners to co-operate in agreeing targets in the LAA. (B)
      Named partners include: police, probation, Youth Offending Teams, Primary
       Care Trusts , Learning and Skills Councils, Health and Safety Executive, Fire
       and rescue authorities, Passenger Transport Authorities, Environment Agency,
       Natural England, Regional Development Agencies, National Park Authorities,
       the Broads Authority and waste disposal authorities.
      There will be an expectation that council leaders and portfolio holders play a
       strong role in LSPs and relevant thematic partnerships.
      There will be streamlining of requirements to help integrate the development of
       community planning and spatial development plans, including consultation
       requirements.
      The government will aim to develop more financial flexibility within LAAs, and
       between the four current blocks of LAAs.
A new performance framework
The Paper sets out a new performance framework which aims to reduce the number
of nationally-required targets, providing new opportunities for local accountability.
Specific proposals are:
      Elements of Best Value will be changed, sharpening focus on citizen
       engagement, and competition, and removing requirements for a Best Value
       Performance Plan and Best Value reviews. All parish councils will be exempt
       from Best Value requirements. (B)
      The government will set out a single set of about two hundred national
       indicators for all local partners. Local improvement targets will then be agreed
       through LAAs, with around 35 improvement targets, plus Department for
       Education and Skills targets in LAAs. (Not included in the Bill). There will then
       be flexibility to include additional local targets.
      Councils will report annually on LAAs. This information will be fed to the Audit
       Commission and other inspectorates, and inform an annual review of the area's
       performance co-ordinated by the Government Office for the Region.
      Changes to inspection will include, from 2009, development of a
       Comprehensive Area Assessment (building on CPA), based on a combination
       of risk assessment, largely risk-triggered assessment, and audit. The Audit
       Commission will continue to publish an annual Direction of Travel judgement
       for each council, scored for comparability between councils. There will also be
       a Use of Resources judgement.
      The government will agree with the LGA a national improvement strategy to
       tackle poor performance. National intervention powers will be retained.

Efficiency - transforming local services
This section focuses on the need to drive efficiency in use of resources, including new
technology. Proposals include:
      Ambitious efficiency gains to be required as part of the 2007 Comprehensive
       Spending Review.
      Ensuring administrative boundaries do not act as a barrier to service
       improvement and efficiency.
      Promoting business improvement techniques and greater contestability in
       services.
      Government will publish three-year council tax projections, and provide expert
       support to councils and their partners to meet efficiency challenges.

Community cohesion
This section emphasises the need to provide more specific support to councils and
their partners in addressing community cohesion issues. Work which has already
been done to strengthen legislation against discrimination is emphasised. Proposals
include:
      Providing support for councils which wish to include cohesion issues in
       community strategies and LAAs.
   Providing new guidance on how overview and scrutiny can support community
    cohesion.
   Government will support local establishment of forums on extremism where
    necessary.
   Government will encourage the Commission on Integration and Cohesion to
    provide detailed plans on promotion of cohesion.

				
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