Issue - meetings

Wirral Together: Getting the Basics Right - A New Model for Community Engagement

Meeting: 26/11/2018 - Cabinet (Item 41)

41 Wirral Together: Getting the Basics Right - A New Model for Community Engagement pdf icon PDF 200 KB

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Cllr Phil Davies

Councillor Phil Davies, Leader of the Council, said:


Working alongside communities to jointly tackle issues, solve problems and improve facilities leads to a better quality of life for residents.


Almost every time, the people who know how to best improve a community, how to solve a local problem, are the people who live there. Our job, as a Council and as local Councillors, is to make sure they get the support to make that happen.


The proposals we’re putting forward are about making this easier. This is about removing bureaucracy and red tape, and about taking community funding and bringing it closer to the community.


If we are to achieve our priorities then it is vital we are able to work effectively with local citizens as well as establishing an ongoing relationship which promotes coproduction, mutuality and informed decision making. We call this approach Wirral Together. Wirral is fortunate in that it is home to many vibrant, engaged communities who work together to get things done.


This report provides Cabinet with a proposed new approach to working with citizens which is intended to strengthen the relationship between public services and citizens, enabling our communities to deliver their part and support each other, in an ongoing partnership between residents and public services. It will also support us in getting the basics right as promised in our Council Plan for 2018/19”.


Councillor Phil Davies introduced a report of the Director of Governance and Assurance that recommended that the existing community budgets be designated as the Wirral Together Fund, and that it be distributed on a Ward Member basis. It also recommended that the current funding be increased by £50,000 and the amount allocated to each Ward Member be weighted for population, deprivation and age (populations aged 0-4 and 75 and over). Staff resources were recommended to be redirected to directly supporting Councillors in this approach instead of the current focus on Constituency Committees.


The report also recommended that the Cabinet agreed the process and criteria as set out in the appendices attached to the report as follows:


·  Appendix A – Ward Member Budget Allocations;

·  Appendix B – Draft Guidance on Ward Member Budgets (subject to amendment as required);

·  Appendix C – Draft Ward Member Budget Application Form (subject to amendment as required); and

·  Appendix D – Equalities Impact Assessment.


These appendices set out guidance on how these Budgets would operate.


The Cabinet was also asked to agree the necessary officer delegations to administer the Ward Member budgets.


This matter affected all wards within the borough and was therefore a Key Decision.


The Cabinet was informed that a review had taken place during 2017/18 led by the then Portfolio Holder for Community Engagement. As part of that review, the effectiveness of existing Constituency Committees had been raised as an issue. After consideration of this the proposal in that report was that those arrangements should be brought to an end and, instead, a more focussed approach should be put in place  ...  view the full minutes text for item 41