The commitment to neighbourhoods in government policy is now well established across England, Scotland and Wales.
As part of this agenda, the Minister of Communities and Local Government in England has made a commitment to tackling the ‘two twin challenges’ of (1) improving public services and (2) bridging the gap between citizens and local democracy. The details of effective joint working – between agencies and communities – can only be worked out at local level. But government policy can create an enabling framework – or it can make the situation worse. This paper draws on JRF and other research to address some of the key challenges government will face.