Community strategies in England: reshaping spaces of governance?
Doak, J., Parker, G. and Raco, M., (2004) Community strategies in England: reshaping spaces of governance? Working Papers in Real Estate & Planning. 01/04. Working Paper. University of Reading, Reading. pp27.
The preparation of Community Strategies (CS) has been required of LSPs and Local Authorities in England since the passing of the Local Government Act 2000. This paper examines the process and content of two Community Strategies in southern England as part of an ongoing project to understand their impact and explore ways that CSs may be carried through in a meaningful and effective manner. The paper concludes that the two CSs studied illustrate the challenge faced by LSPs in producing Strategies that are meaningful, inclusive and which follow the spirit of the government CS guidance. LAs and LSPs are also posed with a difficult challenge of seeing through an implicitly required transition from a traditional representative democratic structure/process with a more fluid participatory model. Thus we detect that at least two forms of conflict may arise – firstly with elected councillors threatened by a loss of power and secondly between communities and the LAs who are encouraged to problematise local policy and service delivery in the context of limited resource availability.