Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

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Cabinet Decision: 26th November 2009
Title of Item/Report
Neighbourhood Management in Stockton
Record of the Decision
Consideration was given to a report regarding the various approaches to neighbourhood management which had been taken across the borough.

The national context

As part of its commitment to Neighbourhood Renewal, in 2001 the Government funded the development of 35 pathfinder partnerships to develop and test neighbourhood management with a focus on deprived urban and rural areas. The intention was that the pathfinder funding would be used over a longer term than previous area-based initiatives to stimulate a change in a way of working that would see sustainability embedded through mainstream budgets.

Involving and empowering communities was a consistent theme running through a number of national documents published by DCLG and the new ‘duty to involve' came into force in April 2009. This required local authorities and other public agencies to establish positive relationships within local communities, to deal with problems to the satisfaction of residents, particularly in the most disadvantaged areas where satisfaction with local services and participation levels were often low.

The Use of Resources assessment for Councils and Fire and Rescue Services and the Area Assessment aspect of CAA placed a stronger emphasis on community engagement and empowerment and an assessment of how all public services were working together to make a positive difference to local communities and specific vulnerable groups.

The local context

The Parkfield and Mill Lane (PML) Neighbourhood Management Pathfinder was one of partnerships in Phase 1 of the national programme, and allocated 3.5 million between 2002 and 2009, alongside some additional support from the Neighbourhood Renewal Fund (NRF). One of its most popular and effective interventions was the NMP sponsored ‘Village Style Policing' initiative, which introduced a neighbourhood policing model to Parkfield and Mill Lane over four years before this approach to policing was adopted and rolled out nationally.

The St. Ann's Partnership Neighbourhood Element was established in 2006 and was allocated 1.4million funding over the 4 year period 2006-2010, through the Neighbourhood Element of NRF that had similar overarching aims and objectives as the PML pathfinder. The Council was the accountable body for the funding, with the Board developing and setting priorities for funding to be spent within the areas of Portrack and Tilery with Mount Pleasant.

The various activities of the Area Partnerships were another approach to community engagement and patch-based service delivery. Intervention funding for the Area Partnerships came from Communities Fund. The Area Partnerships were accountable to the Council as the legally and financially accountable body.

There were a number of other initiatives that took a focussed approach to problem solving that endeavoured to shape service delivery either on a locality basis or in relation to specific vulnerable groups, for example the Joint Action Groups in relation to achieving community safety objectives and targets.

Community engagement was a key aspect within the EIT review programme and included within the scope of the Communication, Consultation and Engagement Review which was a Year 1 review carried out by the Corporate Adult and Social Inclusion Scrutiny Committee.

The development of the Local Intelligence Framework would provide profiles of communities at a spatial level i.e., Borough, local area and neighbourhood and at a population group level i.e., particular vulnerable groups. This intelligence would be used to inform and shape mainstream service delivery and provide an evidence base for identifying neighbourhoods that would benefit from intensive local support facilitated through the bringing together of the engagement functions.

RESOLVED that the report be noted.
Reasons for the Decision
A number of different approaches to neighbourhood management had been applied in various places across the Borough since the implementation, in 2002, of the Neighbourhood Management Pathfinder in Parkfield and Mill Lane and a range of different outcomes realised. In addition national policy, guidance and assessment relating to community engagement and service delivery, key aspects of neighbourhood management had changed.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected
Declared (Cabinet Member) Conflicts of Interest
Councillor Coleman declared a personal, non-prejudicial interest in respect of the item entitled Neighbourhood Management in Stockton as a result of his position on the St Ann's Development Board.
Details of any Dispensations
Not applicable
Date and Time by which Call In must be executed
Not later than Midnight on Friday 4 December 2009

Date of Publication: 30 November 2009

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