The difference between local and regional

localTodays news that the Government plans to abolish the existing 21 Community Rehabilitation Companies and replace them with 10 larger bodies is deeply flawed for several reasons. Listening to Dame Glenys Stacey on Radio 4 she referred on at least two occasions to the focus on local services and how these new areas would work well, providing better connections with the clients of the probation service. She argued that the areas would fit well to the same layout as Police and Crime Commissioner areas. She failed to explain  how the 43 PCC areas would fit well into 11 CRCs. I was a member of the South East England Regional Assembly from 2002 to 2009 and these same regional footprints still influence Government planning. The Blair Labour Government adopted the same geographical areas for the Regional Assemblies as the Major Government had designed the Regional Development Agencies. Blairs Government also built on the Local Regeneration Boards created by Margaret Thatcher and formed Local Strategic Partnerships to cover every single middle tier Local Authority Area (District and Boroughs). Although local and regional areas are not absolute definitions in our country, it became clear that when the Cameron Government abolished the regional bodies and replaced them with ‘Local’ Enterprise Partnership the only Local element of them was the name, they are all regional bodies by any other definition!

When the Government created the CRCs in 2014 one of their promises was that they would favour Voluntary Sector bodies, but the very large areas along with the final decisions meant that the CRCs were private sector firms almost exclusively. It is perfectly clear that just as the failure of these CRCs is very evident, that to reduce the number will once again move the services towards the private sector and away from local communities. It is vital that this direction is reversed and ideally one CRC per each policing area is created.



About ianchisnall

I am passionate about the need for public policies to be made accessible to everyone, especially those who want to improve the wellbeing of their communities. I am particularly interested in issues related to crime and policing as well as health services and strategic planning.
This entry was posted in Charities, Justice Issues, Parliament and Democracy, Police & Crime Commissioner, Policing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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