CIPR Diploma students' presentation on council structure and community cohesion


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Lecture I was invited to give to CIPR Diploma students in 2007 on the topic of council structures and community cohesion, to help them to effectively research the topic. See first page of presentation for more ...

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CIPR Diploma students' presentation on council structure and community cohesion

  1. 1. COUNCIL STRUCTURES AND COMMUNITY COHESION Presentation for CIPR Diploma Planning Assignment Ronnie Semley Communications and Media Manager This short presentation on council structures, relevant to the topic of community cohesion, was delivered to CIPR Diploma students at Manchester Metropolitan University to assist with background research. The year this presentation was delivered (2007) students had been set a question for their all-important planning assignment encompassing the topic of social integration and community cohesion, with particular emphasis on a fictitious council. As Bolton Council is an exemplar in this area I was invited to assist students in their preparation for the assignment …
  2. 2. Councils: Complicated and bureaucratic? <ul><li>Real job is to provide services to the public </li></ul><ul><li>There are also many sections of council dedicated to providing data to central government on all aspects of the Council’s work </li></ul><ul><li>This can work to our advantage! </li></ul><ul><li>Usually these sections are based centrally – for example the Chief Executive’s Department/Support Team </li></ul><ul><li>Specific cohesion teams: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>search for ‘Fairness’; ‘Equality and Diversity’; Diversity and Cohesion’ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>This brings us on to the next point … </li></ul>
  3. 3. Structure <ul><li>All Councils are structured differently – just to be helpful! </li></ul><ul><li>This is due to the type of councils – some are districts; others counties; others metropolitan boroughs </li></ul><ul><li>Even councils with the same status can be structured differently </li></ul><ul><li>So often the same documents are described differently depending on which council website you are searching … </li></ul><ul><li>But there is some uniformity … </li></ul>
  4. 4. Strategic framework <ul><li>Most large councils will be members of the Local Strategic Partnership (LSP) and will produce a Community Strategy </li></ul><ul><li>This sets out the values that all the major partners in the Borough have signed up to </li></ul><ul><li>Councils are assessed annually as part of the Continuous Performance Assessment (CPA) framework via the Audit Commission </li></ul><ul><li>They are expected to be proactive in handling their own affairs and are judged on a myriad of targets across all services </li></ul><ul><li>These include ‘corporate governance’ – ie the backbone of the authority – how it is managed </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t forget the political dimension! </li></ul>
  5. 5. What to look for … <ul><li>As part of this the authority should be producing a number of key documents relative to your research </li></ul><ul><li>These include the following: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Council will produce it’s own strategic document or Plan. In Bolton it’s called the Bolton Plan </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>All departments are also expected to produce their own action plans (service improvement action plans) with appropriate Performance Indicators (PIs) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Individual Personal Development Plans feed into these </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Staff are expected to be aware of Council’s policies – including those pertaining to equality and race </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Councils policies will be named differently but will cover much of the same ground </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Driven by national legislation – specifically the Race Relations Amendment Act 2000 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In Bolton we have the Valuing Diversity Policy ; in Oldham they call it the Equalities and Diversity Policy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Act gives councils specific actions to fulfil as well - which takes us onto legislative drivers … </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Relevant legislation <ul><li>A key Act affecting councils is the Race Relations Amendment Act 2000 </li></ul><ul><li>The main provisions contained in the Act came into effect on April 2, 2001. </li></ul><ul><li>By May 31, 2002, key public bodies were required to have in place a Race Equality Scheme to show how they intend to meet the ‘general duty’ contained in the Act. </li></ul><ul><li>In Bolton we do regular relevance reviews assessing the work of all aspects of the authority (including communications!) against factors including sexuality; religious belief and, of course, race to ensure the authority is serving all its publics </li></ul>
  7. 7. Legislation: Community cohesion <ul><li>Community cohesion: The current ‘buzz phrase’ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Term didn’t exist until 2001 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Riots in 2001 changed everything </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ Community cohesion can be seen as a development of the concept of multiculturalism, in which the emphasis on separateness and differences is counterbalanced by the creation of interaction and commonalities.’ (ICC) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Enshrined in Government White Paper (DCLG): ‘Strong and Prosperous Communities’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If you are searching for information on specific practice in local areas on council websites it’s the phrase to use! </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Legislation <ul><li>Local Government White Paper </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Significant shift in emphasis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Communities placed at the centre of policy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Places emphasis on strong local political leadership; empowering communities and creating a climate where extremism (of all kinds) withers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Whole chapter on community cohesion in the White Paper </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Frontline staff more important than ever </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Area forums/committees will be strengthened etc </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Useful websites <ul><li> </li></ul>
  10. 10. Useful websites <ul><li> </li></ul>
  11. 11. Useful websites <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>