19 November 2015

Neighbourhoods plan could transform city’s services

Proposals to start transforming the way the council provides services by making them more community-based will be considered by councillors at a meeting on Monday 23 November.

Central to the proposals is a plan is to create four new neighbourhood ‘hubs’. These would provide services in the heart of communities jointly run by the council and the community and voluntary sector.

Under the first phase of the programme hubs would be created in four areas:

•         Moulsecoomb & Bevendean

•         East Brighton

•         Hangleton & Knoll

•         Hanover & Elm Grove

Councillors are being asked to give the go-ahead for officers to draw up a full business case for creating the neighbourhood hubs.

This would look at what services would be delivered through them and how the council can work more closely with residents to ensure local communities are supported.

A key consideration would be linking in with community activities, services and buildings that are already available in these areas.

The chair of the Neighbourhoods, Communities and Equalities committee, Councillor Emma Daniel, said:

“We have to work differently with communities and neighbourhoods in order to make services more cost effective. We need to approach our communities with a can do attitude, focussing on what residents and neighbourhoods are already doing and what they want to do.

“The council has to make savings of around £68million over the next four years.

“I think the way forward lies in getting residents more involved in delivering services and giving them a real say when it comes to decision making

“We can’t ask residents to step up their involvement without this. We need to transform our relationship with our residents to one where they really feel ownership of their council.

“I want to see a new way of thinking where residents don’t feel their responsibilities begin and end simply with paying council tax, and where we in the council recognise that we aren’t necessarily the people best placed to solve local community issues.

“Making this change in the context of severe budget cuts won’t be easy, but I’m convinced it’s a change our city really needs to make.”

View the papers here





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