HC Deb 18 May 2004 vol 421 c846W
Mr. Don Foster

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what research the Neighbourhood Renewal Unit has commissioned into the barriers that stop sport and renewal working together more closely. [173708]

Yvette Cooper

The Neighbourhood Renewal Unit (NRU) has recently received the report from a study on joint working between sport and neighbourhood renewal agencies. The research aims were to identify existing arrangements for joint working, to highlight barriers to further integration, and to provide suggestions for overcoming these in the future.

The report finds that at both the regional and local levels, joint working is generally underdeveloped. Where joint working does occur, projects are rarely focused on the achievement of well-defined outcomes or targeted towards influencing mainstream services. There is incomplete data on sporting participation in deprived areas and amongst specific groups. There are also few explicit targets for raising participation and a lack of incentives for joint working. Nevertheless, there are some noteworthy examples of joint strategic working between local authority health and education Departments and sport—in ways that will impact on deprived areas.

In response to these findings, the NRU has produced a short practitioner guide for local and regional decision-makers and frontline workers in both sports and regeneration organisations. It explains the importance of linking sport and renewal activities, provides practical advice on how to do this, and shows where to find further resources and help.

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