Lewisham's local priorities

What would you like Lewisham Council to prioritise, and do other people agree with you?

The Department for Communities & Local Government has just released the results of a national process to draw up priorities for each local authority for the next three years. These 'Local Area Agreements' are negotiated between the council, public sector organisations such as the NHS and the police, and central government. The idea is that councils will now use these priorities to guide their allocation of funding and focus their efforts.

The outcome for every council in the country can be viewed at the DCLG website; here are Lewisham's target priorities* ...

* = Many of these are couched as percentages; the idea is that over time the percentage changes, reflecting an improvement/deterioration.

% of people who believe people from different backgrounds get on well together in their local area

% of people who feel they can influence decisions in their locality

Environment for a thriving third sector

Adult participation in sport and active recreation

Serious violent crime rate

Serious acquisitive crime rate

Rate of proven re-offending by young offenders

Dealing with local concerns about anti-social behaviour and crime by the local council and police

Repeat incidents of domestic violence

Number of drug users recorded as being in effective treatment

Ethnic composition of offenders on Youth Justice System disposals

Services for disabled children

Obesity in primary school age children in Reception

Stability of placements of looked after children: length of placement

Achievement gap between pupils eligible for free school meals and their peers achieving the expected level at Key Stages 2 and 4

First time entrants to the Youth Justice System aged 10-17

Under 18 conception rate

Substance misuse by young people

16 to 18 year olds who are not in education training or employment (NEET)

All-age all cause mortality rate

Stopping smoking

Achieving independence for older people through rehabilitation / intermediate care

Carers receiving needs assessment or review and a specific carer's service or advice and information

Percentage of vulnerable people achieving independent living

Adults with learning disabilities in employment

Overall Employment rate (working-age)

Working age people claiming out of work benefits in the worst performing neighbourhoods

Number of affordable homes delivered (gross)

Number of households living in temporary accommodation

% non-decent council homes

Number of Level 1 qualifications in literacy (including ESOL) achieved

Percentage of small businesses in an area showing employment growth

Per capita reduction in CO2 emissions in the LA area

Residual household waste per household

Improved street and environmental cleanliness (levels of litter detritus graffiti and fly-posting)

The picture this paints probably isn't too far from the truth: an urban population with relatively low average incomes, lacking recreation opportunities, worrisome yoof, and high concern about crime. However it could be argued that the council has missed a trick here in focussing on the symptoms rather than the cause. There's only one employer-related priority here, and that focusses on small businesses. Where are the job creation measures which would help Lewisham's population to improve its lot? Who are the borough's major employers and what do they make of these priorities? What can we do to attract more sizeable firms?

Taking our Telegraph-reading hat off and putting our Brockley Central hat on, we note there's nothing in these priorities about transport. This is bad news for those who believe the Brockley Cross roundabout desperately needs to be re-worked. But what else does this mean for Brockley - what do BC readers think?