Headlines: December 8th, 2003

The second round of Neighbourhood Management Pathfinders has been extended to rural areas where there is difficulty accessing services. Neighbourhood Management Pathfinders establish partnerships between local residents and local organisations to take decisions about tackling problems such as crime, anti-social behaviour, vandalism, improving facilities for young children and teenagers, poor quality and empty houses, fly-tipping and environmental improvements, and lack of skills and training.The 15 new Neighbourhood Management Pathfinders will give people the opportunity to influence the key decisions that affect their quality of life. Residents, together with council representatives, will serve on Neighbourhood boards and local managers will be responsible for getting things done. Each area will receive up to 200,000 pounds for recruitment of key staff, establishing the partnership, operating systems, and developing the delivery plan. When the plan is approved there will be funding up to 350,000 pounds per year over seven years.

Winners have been announced for the Neighbourhood Partnership Award of the Year 2003. The awards recognize the achievements of the first round of Pathfinders launched in 2001. The partnership of the year award went to Springbourne and Boscombe West, in Hampshire. The partnership board was designed to include a majority of residents backed up by key stakeholders, including service providers, elected members, business, the churches and the voluntary sector. A network of local people acting as ‘Street Reps’ ensured a regular exchange of views and practical reports about events on the ground. The partnership included people across the spectrum of age, ability and circumstance. Neighbourhood management is seen as the first port of call for people concerned about local issues, and equally, for service providers wishing to consult the community, as well as being regarded as the prime source of knowledge about the area, its needs and services.