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Ian Birnbaum: Big Society & local government
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Ian Birnbaum: Big Society & local government


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Ian Birnbaum, chief executive of the London Borough of Sutton, talks about big society in action

Ian Birnbaum, chief executive of the London Borough of Sutton, talks about big society in action

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  • Our citzenship programme through the ‘Life Zone’ part of the Centre is designed to engage, educate and empower - helping young people lead active and enjoyable lives by taking them through real life scenarios using modern technology and interactive settings. By making new media and technology within the Like Skills Zone and in the media Zone these we will be able to support creative individuals and groups from around the borough. With the support of the resident technical experts visitors will be able to create and view new video work and edit them down to the final polished article. Designed by young people and focused on their needs the facilities at the Centre will provide information, advice and guidance enabling young people to develop skills. These skills will provide greater opportunities for securing sustainable employment for young people as well. Through our Big Society work we will be using the Life Centre as a hub to encourage our young people and the wider community to use the skills and expertise they can develop through the Centre to ‘ re-invest’ in their communities and local area – by becoming volunteers, joining local groups or organisations that make a contribution to their communities. We are working with Government to expand the use of the Life Centre and support programmes that will help to build capacity within communities to a greater role within the Big Society.
  • Transcript

    • 1. The Big Society in Sutton Ian Birnbaum, Interim Chief Executive London Borough of Sutton December 7, 2010
    • 2. About Sutton
      • South West London suburb, population 185,000 and growing
      • Liberal Democrat since 1986 with increased majority at the last elections
      • Known for work on sustainability, One Planet living, BedZED, partnerships, high-performing schools
      • Areas of wealth and deprivation
      • People say they want to get more involved
    • 3. What does the Big Society mean in Sutton?
      • Authentic to the London Borough of Sutton - our long-standing mission is to create a borough in which all can take part, and take pride .
      • Fundamental to our transformation change programme – Smarter Services Sutton, which focuses on behaviour change, personalisation, and re-engineering service delivery.
      • Big Society during a time of austerity – particularly challenging but also an opportunity.
    • 4. What Big Society activity is happening in Sutton?
      • One of four Vanguard areas in the country
      • Four initial Big Society projects
      • Encouraging and leading other activity: grit distribution, open data and encouraging transparency are good examples
    • 5. Hackbridge Sustainable Suburb Our ambition is to develop a truly sustainable suburb using the principles of ‘One Planet Living’. We aim to achieve this via major improvements to the built environment and a range of community engagement programmes
    • 6. Hackbridge Sustainable Suburb
      • Development of the Hackbridge Community Forum to support community place-shaping champions.
      • The creation of a community-led River Wandle restoration project
      • Development of a low carbon energy network with the private sector,
      • Encouraging community involvement in land management
    • 7. Sutton Life Centre
      • The Sutton Life Centre will be used as a hub for several streams of activity:
      • Support for the training a new generation of community organisers who can support the creation of neighbourhood groups particularly in deprived areas
      • Teaching a whole range of people the skills for community investment
      • Our ‘citizenship’ programme will work with vulnerable families on how they can benefit from regular community involvement
    • 8. Sutton Life Centre
      • Citizenship 
      • Provision of innovatively-delivered, thought-provoking experiences
      • Web development
      • Deliver a new web presence
      • Local resource
      • Local community resources offering facilities for local groups of all ages and encouraging volunteering
      • Regional resource covering London and the South East
      • Award-winning development hub pioneering national developments
    • 9. Health choice through integration
      • Promoting the Big Society by taking forward the Government’s White Paper:
      • developing new opportunities for patient voice through local Healthwatch
      • new arrangements for public health
      • new governance arrangements through Health and Wellbeing Boards
    • 10. Health choice through integration
      • Early adoption of some public health responsibilities and targeted public health campaign work
      • Development of a new Health and Wellbeing Board
      • Early development of Healthwatch and local GP user groups to develop patient engagement and patient voice opportunities
    • 11. Enabling Smarter Travel Choices Sutton continues to build on the productive relationship it has developed with TfL through the delivery of Smarter Travel Sutton (STS) Improved travel choices through better infrastructure and greater accountability To give people greater responsibility for how their roads, cycling routes, buses and trains are organised Objective - TfL and Boroughs working to deliver schemes more efficiently and give residents a stronger voice in the development and implementation of transport schemes
    • 12. Enabling Smarter Travel Choices
      • Three key elements to enable Smarter Travel Choices:
      • Commitment to the Integrated Transport Package approach
      • Open and transparent communications with residents
      • Reducing bureaucracy
    • 13. The key questions we want citizens to ask
      • What can (and should) I do for myself?
      • What can (and should) I do for others?
      • What can (and should) local services and agencies do to help me?
    • 14. The example of free grit
      • Residents encouraged to pick up grit for themselves and, where appropriate, for their neighbours – and to use it to clear their pathways.
      • An excellent example of the Big Society (and the three questions on the previous slide) in action.
    • 15. An online library service, funded by NESTA, to help residents share books with each other Powered by Open Data – we will be opening up the library catalogue and lending data to the public
    • 16. Concluding remarks
      • Big Society is not new – but it’s a powerful organising idea
      • The re-calibration of the relationship between individual and state is a central element
      • Take Part, Take Pride is authentic to Sutton and is at the core of the Big Society, emphasising as it does both participation and responsibility.