Category Archives: Local Compact

Jan 2011 Our Society: Big Society in action across Dudley Borough – it’s official!

crossposted from Our Society in Dudley Borough discussion, 28 January 2011 on http://www.oursociety.org.uk

Update from today’s Local Strategic Partnership meeting – the Board were pleased with the work we’ve been doing. Here are the presentation slides I used:

The Board signed up to the following in terms of a strategic approach to Big Society:

1. Our approach recognises that outcomes and activities sought in a Big Society already exist across our Borough, in our neighbourhoods, local businesses, public sector agencies, voluntary organisations, communities and faith groups. Together we will celebrate, but not take the credit for, independent community action. As a partnership we will seek actions that we can take to enable community action, developing next practice.

2. We will badge our work Our Society: Big Society in action across Dudley Borough. We are proud to be part of the Our Society online community, contributing to its development and linking online sharing with offline practice.

3. Existing commitments in our Community Strategy, Local Compact and Comprehensive Community Engagement Strategy will guide our approach, and in particular principles in our Community Strategy around (a) promoting equality and tackling inequality, (b) delivering in partnership and (c) involving people. In addition the commitment in our Community Strategy to be honest about the resources available is crucial.

There is an opportunity to adopt a whole area approach, based on a model developed through the Black Country Take Part Pathfinder. We’re working on how we define this approach, and will discuss it further. Dudley’s Community Engagement Working Group will be looking at the branding of our Comprehensive Community Engagement Strategy, as ‘in it together’ doesn’t have quite the same ring to it as it did in 2008 when we came up with it! The Leader of the Council is keen for us to review this.

LSP Board members made effort to compliment the thinking behind what we presented, and expressed that we are making great progress in our response to Big Society.

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Jan 2011 Strategic responses to Big Society in Dudley

crossposted from Our Society in Dudley Borough discussion, 25 January 2011 on http://www.oursociety.org.uk/group/dudley/forum

The journey so far …

Dudley has a Local Strategic Partnership (LSP), called the Dudley Community Partnership (DCP). Within this ‘family of partnerships’ there is a multi-agency Stronger Communities Steering Group.

On 21 July 2010 the Stronger Communities Steering Group met and started to look at how Strategic Priorities from Dudley’s Community Strategy in the Strong Communities theme mapped to five policies announced in May 2010 in relation to the Big Society. At the same meeting the group also went on to identify existing activity around community engagement, volunteering, community cohesion and social enterprise development. We identified opportunities and threats in relation to what Big Society thinking was in relation to these.

The action agreed from this meeting and taken to the Dudley Communuity Partnership Board was for a sub-group to organise a Big Society event. This was undertaken and on the 18 November the Dudley Communuity Partnership hosted a Big Society event attended by 117 people: 59% public sector, 35% voluntary, community and faith sector and 5 private sector. See more here.

For me the themes emerging from the 18 discussion groups were:

  •     Power
  •     Inclusion
  •     A desire for more support and funding for grass roots community activity and volunteers
  •     A need to recognise community knowledge and skills, and resilience
  •     Service issues
  •     Community engagement
  •     Local enterprise development
  •     A demand/desire for culture change in local government

I proposed to the Stronger Communities Steering Group that Dudley’s approach to Big Society should:

  • address the above issues (raised at the event in November).
  • be guided by commitments and approaches in our Community Strategy, Local Compact and Comprehensive Community Engagement Strategy
  • be a partnership approach
  • be an empowering one – by which I mean working in ways which build confidence, are inclusive, foster organised and co-operative communities and which support community influence.
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