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Charles Woodd from the Department for Communities and Local ...

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  • 1. Empowered communities – implementing the White Paper Charles Woodd - Community Empowerment Division
  • 2. Strong and prosperous communities
    • ‘ The aim of [the Local Government White Paper] is to give local people and local communities more influence and power to improve their lives.’
    • ‘ It is about …..rebalancing the relationship between central government, local government and local people.’
    • Ruth Kelly, MP
    • Secretary of State
  • 3. Securing participation – the new Best Value duty
    • Under the new Best Value duty, authorities will be required to take steps, where appropriate, to ensure participation of local citizens by:
    • Informing them
    • Consulting citizens and communities
    • Involving them in designing, delivering or assessing a service
  • 4. The structural context for community engagement
    • Sustainable Community Strategy
    • Local Area Agreement
    • Local Development Framework
    • A strategic framework for commissioning
    • Statement of Community Involvement
    • Asset management strategies and plans
    • Compact with the voluntary and community sector
    • Neighbourhood management and governance
  • 5. A strategic approach to community engagement and empowerment
    • Two dimensions to community engagement and empowerment:
    • Creating more opportunities
    • Building capacity, in both local government and communities, to take advantage of those opportunities
  • 6. Three starting points….
    • Blueprints – no; recipes – yes
    • Diverse responses in unique localities
    • The limits of top down planning: learning through trial and error and shared experience
  • 7. OPPORTUNITIES… Strengthening the role and representativeness of councillors
    • Commission on Councillors, looking at
      • recruitment
      • retention
      • recognition
      • Reporting in November 2007
    • Community Call for Action
    • Overview and Scrutiny Committee
  • 8. OPPORTUNITIES… Representative structures
    • Representation on the LSP
    • The proposed health-related LINks – local involvement networks
    • Other service-based bodies
    • Top-down devolved structures – eg area committees and forums
  • 9. OPPORTUNITIES… Neighbourhood management and governance
    • Parish and community councils
      • simplifying and extending process of establishment
      • extending well-being power to Quality parishes
    • Neighbourhood management
    • Local charters, perhaps based on neighbourhood or parish planning
    • Residents networks, forums etc
  • 10. OPPORTUNITIES… Community management and ownership of assets
    • Quirk Review:
    • - corporate approach to asset management
    • - asset transfer to communities as a serious option
    • - greater awareness of powers and good practice
    • Tenant management:
    • - review of Right to Manage regulations
  • 11. BUILDING CAPACITY… Building capacity in local government
    • Community engagement as an improvement priority within the emerging National Improvement Strategy
    • Training councils and other LSP partners as commissioners – in the broad sense
    • Learning provision for councillors as well as officers
  • 12. BUILDING CAPACITY… Building capacity in communities
    • Learning for active citizenship and citizen governance – www.takepart.org
    • Better co-ordination of community development – Community Development Challenge report
    • Neighbourhood/community level infrastructure – Firm Foundations ( Home Office 2004)
    • Good practice guidance, online information including www.togetherwecan.info
  • 13. BUILDING CAPACITY… Building capacity in the third sector
    • ChangeUp/Capacitybuilders – support for the third sector infrastructure
    • National specialist networks eg on asset-based development
    • Community Assets Transfer Fund – grants to facilitate asset transfer to communities
  • 14. Guidance and support
    • Statutory place-shaping guidance
    • Guidance package on Community Call for Action, Overview and Scrutiny and LINks
    • Good practice guidance on community empowerment – LGA led
    • Quality assurance for community empowerment practice – national and regional consortia (developing from May 2007?)
  • 15. Questions
    • What do you want from national good practice guidance?
    • What mechanisms are there for learning and sharing across the region? What would add value?
    • What mechanisms already exist in local areas for developing a strategic approach to community engagement and empowerment?
  • 16. Contact details
    • Charles Woodd
    • Community Empowerment Division
    • Communities and Local Government
    • [email_address]
    • Tel: 020 7944 3311