Building Stronger Communities
"Enabling communities to thrive (community development)"
"Developing and promoting an integrated approach to prevention and earlier intervention"
Stronger communities can mean different things depending on the hopes, aspirations and needs of the people that live in a geographical area, or of people who experience issues in a way that creates bonds between them. When people are asked to define what a stronger community looks like to them, they invariably have different perspectives in terms of their life chances and experiences. It follows that the people who provide services on behalf of our communities have their own perspectives too.
Our continued approach needs to support communities to take a more active role in managing their own quality of life. Already, a number of communities, with help from the partners, have taken the lead on a range of initiatives such as establishing local enterprise, managing local areas and implementing village improvements.
The Council has an increased focus on a strengths-based approach, for individuals and for communities. This means that we will look first at the strengths within people’s lives, their family and community networks, their interests and their abilities, in order to link people with the right sources of support and help which build upon these strengths. Communities that are more connected need fewer public services, create good places to live, and improve outcomes for residents. People are not passive recipients of services, they have an active role to play in creating better outcomes for themselves and for others, and they themselves will be the starting point for tackling emerging issues.
Our key focus must be on managing demand for our high cost services. As a Council, we recognise the need to make sure that people are better placed to help themselves and each other, so that when extra support is needed this can be found within their local communities. Our efforts to support strong communities will aim to focus on preventative actions which can help to keep people away from needing services delivered by the Council, recognising that, very often, the best and most sustainable help comes from neighbours and peers.
These two Programmes are designed to enable all of this.
For further information please see pages 9 to 13 of the Annual Report.