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Focus on drugs and violence, Tessa urges town halls

PUBLISHED: 16:43 08 July 2008 | UPDATED: 13:25 05 October 2010

TOWN Hall bosses have come up with a set of priorities to tackle over the next three years dealing with issues such as crime, child obesity and teenage pregnancy. Results of a comprehensive shake up of local authority council targets and priorities across London has been published by Whitehall. London Regional Minister Tessa Jowell says drugs and violent crime are important issues to focus on

Mike Brooke

TOWN Hall bosses have come up with a set of priorities to tackle over the next three years dealing with issues such as crime, child obesity and teenage pregnancy.

Results of a comprehensive shake up of local authority council targets and priorities across London has been published by Whitehall.

Most pressing concerns are tackling burglary and violent crime as well as increasing the number of affordable homes, identified as major priorities by two-out-of-three town halls across London.

Education is also seen as major priority, along with childhood obesity and reducing birthrates among girls under 18.

London Regional Minister Tessa Jowell said: "Drugs and violent crime are without doubt important issues to focus on.

"But the priorities agreed as part of the Local Area agreements will ensure other issues such as recycling and community cohesion are not overlooked."

Most London boroughs have pledged to reduce carbon emissions and increase recycling among households-Tower Hamlets still sits at the bottom of the national recycling league table.

Local authority has now agreed priorities with the Government for resources. Extra Whitehall cash is promised to the 'highest performing' councils.

Progress on how town halls are coping is being tracked by independent auditors and results published.

Top crime priorities identified in Tower Hamlets include serious violence, adult re-offending while under probation, anti social street behaviour, arson and getting drug addicts into effective treatment.

There is also concern about numbers killed or seriously injured in road accidents, obesity in primary school age children in Year 6, youngsters from poor families not progressing to higher education, births among girls under 18, child poverty and teenagers aged 16 to 18 who are not in education training or do not have jobs.

Other items lower down on Tower Hamlets' priority list include employment for adults with learning disabilities, people on unemployment benefits, number of affordable homes being provided and number of council homes below standard, low percentage of household waste sent being recycled and poor street cleanliness such as litter, detritus, graffiti and fly-posting.

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