Social renewal – to improve social conditions for the people who live in the most deprived neighbourhoods through better co-ordinated public services and the creation of safer environments.
Deprived neighbourhoods face a daunting range of social problems, poor health, low educational achievement, high levels of drug and alcohol abuse, high rates of anti-social behaviour, vandalism and crime. Social problems of this kind have a disproportionate effect on the quality of life of people who live in these neighbourhoods and must be tackled to make a real change, for the better, in the lives of the residents. As effective public services are the foundation for Neighbourhood Renewal, a key element will be to improve public service delivery and make it more accountable to the community.
Typical activities involve:
- helping schools that serve the most disadvantaged areas to improve educational attainment;
- improve the health of people living in the most deprived neighbourhoods in conjunction with Investing for Health Partnerships, Health Action Zones, Healthy Living Centres and Sure Start Programmes. Issues that need to be addressed include drug and alcohol abuse, teenage pregnancy, parenting strategies and the promotion of healthier lifestyles;
- improving access and connections inside neighbourhoods between neighbourhoods and other areas. This will involve schemes that help people get to jobs and services easily by means of, for example, improvements to pedestrian paths, lighting and cycle paths;
- reducing the occurrence of fear and antisocial behaviour, vandalism and crime, in conjunction with Community Safety Partnerships. Specific projects should tackle fear in interface areas, and assist the work done by Neighbourhood Wardens within the context of an overall crime reduction strategy, and
- developing or improving the community recreation and leisure facilities available to people who live in the most deprived neighbourhoods. For example, this might include using school facilities for community meetings, sports facilities and leisure classes outside of normal school hours.