Published: 23rd Feb 2011

Local authorities need residents on board now more than ever as they reshape local services. After a slow start, has the time for neighbourhood agreements finally arrived? Austin Macauley reports ‘Lots of people just don’t have a proper understanding of what their part is in working with the local services. It sets out nice and clearly each side’s part and what’s expected. It’s a two-way thing.’ Linda Wilson is talking about the neighbourhood agreement that’s just been signed off in her hometown of Blyth, Northumberland. Covering everything from fly tipping to streetlights, it describes what’s expected of residents and what they should expect of their council. It’s all about taking responsibility, something that ought to please David Cameron. Writing in The Guardian earlier this month, the prime minister rounded off a defence of Big Society with: ‘It’s about giving you the initiative to take control of your life and work … (To read the full article, subscribe below)