Cabinet Member for Communities
119.1 Councillor Maybury introduced the report and briefly summarised the background to the development of the Strategy. The Strategy had been developed as a response to some of the bigger community related changes and the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. The Strategy also set out a vision for communities now and in the future, focusing on not just the growing older population that will need more support, but also focussing on younger people and giving them a better start in life. The Strategy also celebrated the strength and vibrancy of many communities and recognised the action taken by community volunteers and the difference they made to the people living in that community whilst acknowledging that some communities find it more difficult. The Strategy recognised the pressures that population, economic and environmental changes present not only to the Council but to the whole public sector. The Councils’ partners have supported the development of the Strategy.
119.2 Councillor Maybury went on to say that there had been a conscious decision not to ask Council to approve an action plan. The Strategy was intended to provide an overall direction and because the work with partners was key to developing this direction, the delivery plan would need to be developed in collaboration with partners.
119.3 Councillor Maybury then MOVED the recommendations within the report which Councillor Ayres SECONDED.
119.4 Councillor Barrett asked if there was going to be a continuance of the Community Awards Scheme?
119.5 In response Councillor Maybury stated that at the present time the decision had been to hold these awards every two years.
119.6 Councillor Arthey queried the links with some of the strategic framework as some of the plans and policies quoted there were not in place yet?
119.7 In response Councillor Maybury stated that the Strategy was designed to help communities thrive now and in the future and with that in mind, future plans and polices that had not yet been agreed, had been quoted. There was also a recommendation in the report that future minor amendments could take place which would allow for any changes to the names of those policies.
119.8 Councillor Williams asked to what extent the Community Strategy was attempting to contribute to help reduce knife crime and county line issues?
119.10 In response Councillor Maybury informed Members that the Council was working hard with its partners in the WSCSP focusing on these issues as a priority. Some of the operations that were being undertaken were confidential so she was not able to divulge them to avoid comprising them.
119.11 The Assistant Director for Communities added that those issues were being tackled as part of a tactical plan owned by the Western Suffolk Community Partnership and this Strategy affirmed the Council’s commitment to fulfilling the objectives of that tactical plan.
It was Resolved:-
(i) That the Joint Communities Strategy, attached as Appendix A to the report, be approved.
(ii) That the Assistant Director for Communities in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Communities, be delegated the authority to make future minor amendments and updates to the Strategy, where required and appropriate.
(iii) That the Assistant Director for Communities in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Communities, be delegated the authority to take steps to make the vision and the direction of the Strategy more accessible to local communities, partner organisations and our staff, by:
· producing a summary version with more visuals and infographics,
· producing a delivery plan,
· producing a series of short films to explain the vision and the ways we want to work to achieve it.