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Caithness News Bulletins July 2004

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New 104 million Anti-poverty Fund

A new 104 million Community Regeneration Fund has been established to bring improvements to Scotland's most deprived areas and help individuals and families escape poverty.

The fund combines and replaces existing programmes like Social Inclusion Partnerships and will be targeted on the communities identified last month in the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation.

Communities Minister Margaret Curran outlined the six objectives, agreed by the Cabinet Sub Committee on Closing the Opportunity Gap, that will be used to drive future anti-poverty initiatives.

Using the Community Regeneration Fund as the main tool to help:

  • Regenerate the most disadvantaged neighbourhoods, so that people living there can take advantage of job opportunities and improve their quality of life

And with other programmes:

  • Increasing chances of sustained employment for vulnerable and disadvantaged groups - to lift them permanently out of poverty

  • Improving the confidence and skills of the most disadvantaged children and young people - to provide them with the greatest chance of avoiding poverty when they leave school

  • Reducing the vulnerability of low income families to financial exclusion and multiple debt to prevent them becoming over-indebted and/or to lift them out of poverty

  • Increasing the rate of health improvement for people living in the most deprived communities - to improve their quality of life, including their employability prospects

  • Improving access to high quality services for the most disadvantaged groups and individuals in rural communities to improve their quality of life and enhance their access to opportunity

The Minister said:

"The Community Regeneration Fund focuses efforts on our national priorities to improve the education, health and job prospects of Scotland's most deprived communities. It will help build safer, stronger communities where people want to live and bring up their families.

"We are serious about regenerating these communities. This investment can deliver real change and make a difference to people's lives and neighbourhoods.

"But the Fund is only part of the picture. I want to be sure that this significant resource is being spent effectively and is targeted on real improvements.

"If we are serious about closing the opportunity gap, then councils, the health service, the police, the enterprise networks and others must work with us and with the communities themselves to help secure these improvements.

"I expect to see the Community Planning Partnerships which will lead on our anti-poverty work to demonstrate that this is happening in their area and to set ambitious local targets towards achieving our bigger goal of reducing poverty."

The Executive will publish a set of detailed targets to underpin its objectives in the autumn.

The Community Regeneration Fund replaces the SIP fund (61 million for 2004/05), the Better Neighbourhood Services Fund (31.2 million for 2004/05) and the Tackling Drugs Misuse Fund (3 million for 2004/05).

The Scottish Index ranks areas of around 750 people, called data zones, from the most deprived (No. 1) to the least deprived (No. 6,505). Two thirds of the CRF has been allocated to the most deprived 15 per cent of data zones (i.e. Nos. 1 to 976).

The remaining funds have been allocated to those Community Planning Partnerships with above average (i.e. more than 15 per cent ) concentration of deprivation in their area (marked with an asterisk below). Transitional arrangements to smooth the change from existing programmes to the new Fund are also in place.

The CRF allocations to each Community Planning Partnership are indicative allocations showing the potential grant which can be attracted to support community regeneration in each of the Community Planning partnership areas.

In 2005/06:

  • Aberdeen City  1,218,000

  • Aberdeenshire  135,000

  • Angus  203,000

  • Argyll and Bute  986,000

  • Clackmannanshire  1,104,000 *

  • Dumfries and Galloway  675,000

  • Dundee city  5,775,000 *

  • East Ayrshire  4,033,000 *

  • Easy Dunbartonshire  271,000

  • East Lothian  126,000

  • East Renfrewshire  406,000

  • Edinburgh  7,118,000

  • Eilean Siar  338,000

  • Falkirk  791,000

  • Fife  1,806,000

  • Glasgow City Council  39,886,000 *

  • Highland  609,000

  • Inverclyde  5,381,000 *

  • Midlothian  68,000

  • Moray  361,000

  • North Ayrshire  3,403,000 *

  • North Lanarkshire  9,847,000 *

  • Orkney 0

  • Perth and Kinross  203,000

  • Renfrewshire  4,527,000*

  • Scottish Borders  203,000

  • Shetland  0

  • South Ayrshire  1,767,000

  • South Lanarkshire  6,861,000 *

  • Stirling  406,000

  • West Dunbartonshire  4,956,000 *

  • West Lothian  677,000

Community Planning Partnerships bring together key public service providers such as councils, the NHS, police, fire services and the enterprise networks together with the communities they serve to plan services that better meet the needs of people who use them. There are 32 Community Planning Partnerships covering each local authority area in Scotland.

Community Planning Partnerships will spell out how they intend to use the Community Regeneration Fund, alongside their own resources, to deliver specific regeneration improvements for Scotland's most disadvantaged communities through three-year Regeneration Outcome Agreements or ROAs.

Regeneration Outcome Agreements will be assessed by Communities Scotland on behalf of Ministers and will provide the basis for the award of firm allocations to Community Planning Partnerships early next year.