Memorandum: Cross-cutting review on Improving
the Public Space
The Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Andrew
Smith, announced on 25 June 2001 that "improving the public
space" would be one of seven cross cutting reviews that contribute
to the 2002 Spending review. Terms of reference and contact information
on all reviews are posted on Treasury's public website.
The other cross cutting reviews focus on:
Role of the Voluntary Sector in Delivering
Public Sector Labour Market.
Services for Small Businesses.
Tackling the causes of Health lnequalities.
The Public Space review has examined how Government
policies, funding and targets could produce improvements in the
safety and attractiveness of the public spacethe local
environment where people lead their lives The steering group for
the review has helped frame the following vision for good quality
safe, clean, streets and pavements
designed to balance the needs of motorists, cyclists and pedestrians
and to provide opportunities to play, sit, talk to others etc;
public buildings, spaces and facilitiesenough
of the right kinds and in the right places, accessible, well designed,
safe and well maintained.
To be delivered through:
clear strategic management and allocation
of responsibility for public service delivery;
business caring about public space
which it owns and the wider, communal, local environment;
local people shaping the local environment,
playing a part in keeping it safe and attractive, taking pride
and curbing nuisance.
Lord Falconer has lead the review and, at the
conclusion of Spending Review, will lead on implementation, in
consultation with colleagues from key central government departments:
John Denham in the Home Office, Michael Meacher in DEFRA, Baroness
Blackstone in DCMS and John Spellar and Nick Raynsford in DTLR.
An inter-departmental group including interested
external partners (the Countryside Agency, the Commission for
Architecture and the Built Environment, Tameside MBC and the Pedestrians'
Association) was set up to review all public services, programmes
and policies which impact on the quality of streets and local
public spaces. It has also considered whether there is an effective
process for delivery, management and improvement.
The group went through a consultation and information
gathering process with a wide group of experts and interested
parties from within Whitehall, local authorities, voluntary and
community groups, academics, and business interests.
The Review has completed its final report and
Lord Falconer has provided this advice to the Chief Secretary
for consideration in the 2002 Spending Review. Summaries of public
space, and all cross cutting reviews, will be included in the
SR2002 publication this summer.
public space mattersit has
strong links to other key policy areas like crime reduction, health,
the local economy, sustainable development, children's well-being
and the social exclusion agenda;
local solutions ensure buy-in and
increase the chances of sustainability of improvements. The more
you can involve people in the provision and management of facilities
in their area, the more sustainable and successful those facilities
leadership (local and national) and
clear, consistent messages are vital. Clear lines of responsibility
and accountability are also key;
innovative working eg at LA level (eg
cross-departmental nuisance teams, or multi-task, area-based street
cleaning teams) can better get at complex local environmental
better data streams on public space are
vital, as a democratising force and a lever for councils. Better
information on levels of street cleanliness, antisocial behaviour
or fear of crime are vital to inform policy making and give residents
an extra lever to demand improvements.
This Review will result in a plan that facilitates
local actionan improved cross-Government approach to delivery
can clearly establish improved streets and public places as a
priority local service.
The Government is also embarking on a review
of the statutory responsibilities and powers of local authorities
in relation to the local environment, so that they are better
able to deal with various forms of environmental nuisance. Funding
from the Capital Modernisation Fund is also being made available
to support 10 local environmental improvement demonstration projects.
Beyond the Spending Review process, it is envisaged
that cross-departmental work will continue to ensure that the
Government's approach to public space issues is coherent and policies
and programmes complement each other to maximise improvements
and get full value for money for the investment made.