Agenda item

Neighbourhood Partnerships - Progress Update

This item will be presented by Alison Comley (Strategic Director) and Gemma Dando (Deputy Service Director – Neighbourhoods and Communities)


Officers introduced the report and made the following comments:


(1)        Further discussion would take place at an event on Wednesday 5th April 2017;

(2)        Following the publication of the papers in the Agenda, all the remaining responses from the consultation had been received;

(3)        The following comments had been made during the consultation:

(a)        Across all NPs, there was widespread support for a replacement body for Neighbourhood Forums;

(b)        There was broad support for the proposed budget arrangements which would result in the 10 most deprived areas receiving more funding;

(c)        Most NPs did not support linking CIL to funding;

(d)        The 3 area model for CIL and Section 106 was not supported. As a result of this, officers were working on an alternative arrangement which would divide the city into smaller areas;

(e)        By May 2017, there would be a further understanding of options for future arrangements;

(4)        In response to a Councillor’s concerns that officers were not seeking views from a wide enough group of people, it was confirmed that different approaches would be used as part of the consultation to ensure as wide a group as possible were involved.


Councillors made the following comments:


(1)        Officers needed to consider what the best approach is to taking decisions locally – they should be looking wider than just NPs;

(2)        Councillors on the Neighbourhoods Scrutiny Commission had commented in the past on how well NPs worked. If these are scrapped and CIL is distributed centrally, this will wreck the local model;

(3)        The members of the Bishopston Cotham Redland NP wanted to retain this NP as a formally constituted body with some CIL funding;

(4)        The proposed once a year event for agreeing on funding would be very difficult to work properly. Officers pointed out that there was only £30,000 funding available and that any arrangements for NP’s operating as at present was very difficult to do in these circumstances;

(5)        In the Ashley Easton Lawrence Hill NP, there had originally been no BME members in attendance. Following door to door discussions with local people, the number of attendees had significantly increased. However, people were now very unsure how the future arrangements would operate and were unprepared for the existing structure being immediately removed. NP members needed to be involved in arrangements for what would replace them;

(6)        It was a cause for concern that there was such a heavy emphasis on money. There were very small amounts of money involved. It would be more helpful if greater emphasis was placed on obtaining access to non-Council funding such as sponsorship and community engagement. However, this was not mentioned in the report;

(7)        A central resource was still required, whether from VOSCUR or elsewhere. A more imaginative approach was required to ensure the communities that Councillors represented were involved in the process;

(8)        When NPs were set up, it proved possible to finally get some action. It was only when funding became available that officers became involved;

(9)        It was not currently clear how the CIL currently available to the Central Clifton and Harbourside Ward could be made available to other communities in the city. This process needed to be explained in greater detail. Action: Gemma Dando


The Executive Member for Communities stated that there had been discussions with local communities (for example, the St George Community Network). Local groups would be used wherever possible to avoid further organisations needing to be created.


Supporting documents: