The New Localism: Evaluating the importance of Neighbourhood Governance in delivering Regeneration Strategies

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Neighbourhood governance is a particular institutional response designed to achieve a variety of civic, social, political and management objectives. Although it takes different forms, the core aims are: to engage residents, create partnerships, enhance representation and improve service delivery. It also reflects broader changes in the way an increasingly globalised society is regulated including the changing role of the state; the growth of partnership, the shift from government to governance and the increased focus on citizen-centred or network governance. This paper reviews the rationale and forms of neighbourhood governance which have been applied to a number of recent policy initiatives. It evaluates the lessons learnt from two recent government-funded programmes in England: the Neighbourhood Management Pathfinders and the New Deal for Communities programme. In addition, a detailed evaluation of one of the Pathfinders in the City of Westminster is drawn on. The paper concludes that neighbourhood governance has a number of different rationales but all have a common focus on the delivery of services and community engagement at the local level. A key finding is that it is a particularly important strategy for urban regeneration because of its holistic approach and commitment to community involvement. But there is no ‘best fit’ in terms of a model which can be applied uniformly in all contexts.
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neighborhood, governance, public services, central – local relations, community involvement, regeneration
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