Community Partners - 'Grass Roots not Bigwigs'

May 20, 2004 12:00 AM

There IS such a thing as community, so the city council strongly believes. The government has asked each local authority to work with local partners, on a range of issues such as health, community safety, homelessness and the environment. But who are these partners?

Says Cllr Ian Nimmo-Smith, Lib Dem leader of the city council:

"We truly believe in community partnership but not as the government often sees it - one lot of bigwigs talking to another. So instead of the 'City bosses know best' approach favoured by Mr Prescott and others in the cabinet, the Lib Dem-led council has opted for building the so-called 'Local Strategic Partnership' by linking up with voluntary organisations and neighbourhood groups.

We have identified four key areas where new partnership action might make a difference.

Community Facilities

Good sustainable housing for our new communities around the edge of the city with top quality Community Facilities. The Emphasis will be on environmentally friendly and energy efficient development and the provision of high quality open spaces.

Traffic

Action will be taken by the partnership on traffic congestion and the impact of cars through promotion of 'travel for work' schemes which aim to minimise dependence on private cars and boost use of walking, cycling and public transport.

Social Inclusion

Social inclusion and inequality needs the whole community to tackle it. We will submit a bid to the 'Investing in Communities Programme', to support social inclusion work in the City. We will support and monitor the development of the Cambridge Statutory and Voluntary Sector Compact; organising a conference on tackling debt and extending access to banking services with a view to identifying areas where the Local Strategic Partnership can make a difference.

Open Government

Action will be taken to ensure that the Local Strategic Partnership involves local people in its activities and is open and accountable in its decision-making. The Labour Government has come up with three fine words: 'Local Strategic Partnership' - now it's our job in Cambridge to turn those words into real action".

What would you like to do next?