Based on sustainable community strategies, LAAs cover a three year period and set out priorities for local areas. LAAs are structured around four themes:
children and young people
safer and stronger communities
healthier communities and older people
economic development and enterprise (introduced from Round 2 onwards).
Government Offices have been given the leading role in negotiating LAAs. This is because they provide local partners with a single point of contact with central Government, and are better able to respond to local issues because of their local knowledge.
GOs work to negotiate clear targets and outcomes with local authorities and their partners, who will then have the freedom to decide locally how best to achieve them. LAAs will also simplify funding streams, allowing greater discretion with the use of funding, and reduce the bureaucracy attached to multiple funding streams.
Both Local Public Service Agreements and the Neighbourhood Renewal Fund (NRF) can also form part of an LAA, with the NRF maintaining its focus on deprived areas and the attainment of targets. Where local partners agree targets that stretch performance beyond what would have been expected, they will be rewarded for the extra performance.