In the new deal for communities, we are investing more than £2 billion in 39 of our most deprived communities. After just four years, we have already seen significant achievements: employment in the NDC areas is down by 7 per cent., which is faster than the national average; pass rates for pupils who achieve five or more GCSEs are up by 5 per cent., which is higher than the national average; and crime is down by 14 per cent. That is a fantastic achievement, which the National Audit Office has called "pleasing", and it has made a real difference to people's lives. I am sure that the House will want to congratulate the 50,000 ordinary people who have been involved in achieving that success.
Is my right hon. Friend aware of "Heart of Heywood", which is the new deal for communities programme in my constituency? It has just purchased five state-of-the-art buses to transport unemployed people to areas that are difficult to reach. Other plans in the pipeline include a new primary school and a community campus, which will deliver services from the police, housing authorities, the local library and other agencies, and a new health connections centre supported by the primary care trust, social services and Sure Start. Will my right hon. Friend make sure that all NDC projects throughout the country are well supported because they are helping to regenerate the poorer communities in our society?
I very much agree with my hon. Friend. My Ministers and I have visited the majority of NDCs, and we continue to do so. Indeed, I shall visit Shoreditch NDC on