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English Regions: An early progress report on the New Deal for Communities programme

Sir John Bourn, head of the National Audit Office, reported to parliament today that there are early indications that the New Deal for Communities programme, under the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, is helping to tackle the problems of deprived communities and, despite some difficulties that have been encountered, the programme holds potential for … Read more

Report cover showing people and map of UK

Success in the Regions

“I applaud the work done so far by Regional Development Agencies and the work done by the DTI to reduce the burdens on them. This report will better enable them to carry out their important business and it provides case examples from which RDAs and government can learn. I intend to work closely with them in the future to ensure that the full benefits of my recommendations are realised.”

19 Nov 2003

Success in the Regions

Sir John Bourn, head of the National Audit Office, reported to parliament today that Regional Development Agencies have performed well in their first four years. In order to build on this success the relationship between RDAs and government must continue to evolve. The aim of the reports recommendations is to streamline bureaucracy and enable RDAs … Read more

Report cover of map of England

The Department for Trade and Industry: Regional Grants in England

“The regional grants from the DTI to industry in areas of significant unemployment in England have resulted in a number of additional jobs but, according to the Department’s evaluations, there is a substantial difference between the number of jobs initially supported and the number which are truly extra. It is important that the DTI takes steps to ensure the grant assistance is effectively meeting its objectives and to reduce further the administrative burdens involved.”

17 Jun 2003

Improving Social Housing Through Transfer

Sir John Bourn, head of the National Audit Office, reported to Parliament today on the transfer of social housing from local authorities to registered social landlords (RSLs). His report highlights improvements in the condition of transferred housing and the quality of services to tenants. The report also identifies ways in which the transfer programme could … Read more

Report cover showing housing plans

Improving Social Housing Through Transfer

“The transfer programme has brought about much-needed improvement in tenants’ homes and most tenants have also benefited from improved housing services. Transfer should be cost neutral for the RSL and the taxpayer’s contribution should enable reasonable promises to be delivered at a viable price. As cost neutrality is difficult to achieve in practice, the Office should look to influence the use of any additional surpluses made by transfer RSLs and steer them towards social housing or wider community objectives.”

The NAO’s report complements a parallel Audit Commission report on how transferring local authorities have carried out their continuing responsibilities for housing. Together, the two reports provide a comprehensive assessment of the success of the transfer programme.

19 Mar 2003
Report cover showing Teesside's waterways

The Operation and wind up of Teesside Development Corporation

Sir John Bourn, head of the National Audit Office, has published his report on the operation and wind up of Teesside Development Corporation. The Comptroller and Auditor General’s report is in response to concerns raised with him by three Members of Parliament for the North East of England and a former contractor of the Corporation. … Read more

27 Feb 2002
Report cover showing a modern terrace house

Regulating Housing Associations’ Management of Financial Risk

“The Corporation has a good record in preventing serious financial failure in the sector, but risk in the sector is changing. Although the Corporation is reforming its approach, we recommend further steps to protect the interests of taxpayers and tenants.”

Housing associations registered with the Housing Corporation own or manage some 1.45 million homes, a third of the social housing stock in England, housing some 3.2 million people. Over £24 billion of public money has been invested in the sector and a further £1 billion a year is planned over the coming years. These associations, known as Registered Social Landlords (RSLs), provide housing at affordable rents for the homeless and people on low income or with special needs. RSLs are responsible for managing the variety of risks that they face, while the Corporation is responsible for regulating how well they do this. The Corporation has the complex task of seeking to ensure that tenants’ homes and taxpayers’ investments are protected, while also avoiding restriction on RSLs’ scope to engage in well-managed risk taking.

19 Apr 2001