Community Caring

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20031215A report on a ground-breaking initiative which is transforming the lives of adults and young people on a Portsmouth estate.|Youth offending is down and parents' morale is up.|In Portsmouth, the council is leading the way nationally to work with neighbourhoods in ways that cut across traditional service boundaries.|Community boards of residents, police, social services, head teachers, businesses and religious leaders have been set up to take responsibility for approving how money is spent.|Residents are in the majority on these boards and they have drawn up lists of community objectives which they themselves have a responsibility towards delivering.|At a time when anti-social behaviour and youth offending are rising to the top of the national agenda, Liz Carney asks whether Portsmouth could provide some of the answers.