Local authorities to receive £27m boost

The
Government has announced a £27m fund to improve skills at local authorities.

The
Capacity Building Programme for 2003-04 will be spent on a range of
initiatives, including doubling the National Graduate Development Programme to
100 students, a middle managers development programme, formal mentoring
schemes, interim management and secondments.

Nick
Raynsford, local government minister, said: "Our commitment is reflected
in the allocation of this substantial sum of money to develop the capacity
building programme. This will ensure that local authorities can access the
assistance they need to develop and secure sustainable long-term benefits for
their communities.

"The
programme is flexible enough to meet the individual needs of local authorities
and will be reviewed annually to ensure it continued to meet demand."

The
Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has contributed £18m to the fund, with the
remaining £9m from the Local Government Authority.    

By Paul Nelson

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