Book News: November 1st, 2007

This publication from the Young Foundation presents a collection of stories about innovative and inspirational neighbourhood initiatives. They originate from a consortium of 15 councils plus national organisations that are collectively seeking modern and practical ways to support community empowerment and improve neighbourhood working. The report summarises the lessons learnt from the Transforming Neighbourhoods programme and describes how councils can put them into practice.Priorities for residents and groups included reducing crime and improving street scene and public realm through crime prevention and addressing the needs of young people, seeing tangible results, evidence of being listened to even when their wishes cannot be taken on board and respectful attitudes from agencies and their representatives.

Priorities for councils included how councils approach neighbourhoods within corporate plans and local area agreements, member roles at the neighbourhood level, developing and evolving neighbourhood working, engaging with young people and embedding community engagement throughout their activities.

Lesson learned from the programme include a recognition that area working can support neighbourhood working, or can be seen as a substitute, slow incremental change to structures is more successful than ‘big bang’ changes and structures must reflect real needs and circumstances.

The report is available from the Young Foundation.