Archives for January 31st, 2003

EMPOWERING COMMUNITIES TO FIGHT CRIME

Headlines, PublicNet: 31 January, 2003

A campaign to involve tens of thousands of tenants in fighting crime and anti- social behaviour has been launched today by Home Office Minister John Denham. The Home Office in collaboration with the Tenants Participation Advisory Service, designed a new training programme to help residents groups tackle the issues that most affect their communities. There will also be a new award scheme ‘Participation into Practice Award 2003’ which showcases the best practical examples of community groups tackling anti-social behaviour and crime.The ‘Crime Reduction Basics’ training manual for community groups covers in detail what groups and individuals can do to tackle the issue of crime reduction in their area. It includes advice on how people can help in individual ways, factual information on what people are entitled to expect from their local services and case studies of what works.

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PUBLIC SERVICES FAILING TO INVOLVE USERS

Headlines, PublicNet: 31 January, 2003

The Audit Commission has found that local councils, NHS trusts and the police have a long way to go to meet the modernizing agenda demand for involving service users. User involvement is crucial because people benefit most from public services that are based on a real understanding of their needs. The Commission also found outstanding examples where successful involvement brought real benefits to users.The new Management Paper from the Commission ‘Connecting with Users and Citizens’ compares service providers with effective involvement processes with those that were less successful. The comparison reveals a cultural divide. The successful embed user involvement across the organization and seek commitment from all staff. The less successful believe that people do not want to be consulted, because they are not interested. They also feel that it is not really necessary to consult. The reasons they quote for low level of user involvement include lack of time, resources and staff expertise.

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COMMUNITY GOVERNANCE FOR MIXED TENURE NEIGHBOURHOODS

Features, PublicNet: 31 January, 2003

By Martin Knox, David Alcock, Anna Roderick and John Iles Involving people in community governance at neighbourhood level has become a priority. Because of the ‘right to buy’ and the growth of housing associations, large estates of exclusively social rented dwellings have all but disappeared. The authors look at governance mechanisms for empowering residents across the tenure divide between tenants and property owners. They explain their preference for an independent legal vehicle such as a company limited by guarantee, rather than a parish council.

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