St Helens communities at the heart of new localities model

A more focused approach to understanding the need that exists in communities and localities across the borough that will help target support and bring the council closer to communities has been approved by Cabinet.

Friday, 26th March 2021, 9:37 am
Updated Friday, 26th March 2021, 9:40 am
A more focused approach to understanding the need that exists in communities and localities across the borough has been approved by St Helens Council

The aim of locality working arrangements is to ensure that service delivery is embedded in community settings and for communities to feel engaged and be listened to, in relation to the services they feel are important to them.

This draws on the strengths of neighbourhoods across St Helens and will also focus on what people can do individually or collectively to have a positive impact on theirs and others lives.

It also aims to tailor support based on what is already available for the people who live there and that each area has the right mix of services rather than a one-size-fits-all model.

By creating localities it will help identify areas that might need high levels of support and using the knowledge of the area to find different solutions that can help communities in a more sustainable and collective way.

The new model will also look at mapping out all of the places that bring people together which could be parks, schools, church halls or community centres.

By building a better picture of what there is across the borough it will help the council and its partners to work together on innovative ways of supporting communities in the places where people can access them easily.

This will also help build on bringing together the public, private, voluntary and third sector organisations that call St Helens home and support the council’s vision for collaborative working through the new St Helens Together Borough Strategy.

Councillor Seve Gomez-Aspron, Deputy Leader of St Helens Borough Council and Cabinet Member for Reset and Recovery, said: “This past year, dealing with a global pandemic has shown that the power of our communities is in the small acts of kindness, the offers of support to neighbours and a proud sense of self in the places close to home. We all already knew that, but the pandemic has highlighted what is great about our borough.

“We should always recognise that the borough is a distinct group of towns, villages and communities. Those places share some issues, whilst having different needs in other areas. Nobody knows those communities better than the councillors and people that live there.

"Centralisation doesn’t work for some services, and we need to properly target need within the heart of our communities. Working more locally, with a council presence in our new localities, enables that to happen.

“We know that each community is different and their needs are impacted by a range of factors like population size, access to transport, industrial legacy issues health needs and geography.

"By mapping out what our community assets are and understanding the local data of what issues might be affecting people’s lives we can join the two together to make a real difference. It allows us to work in a much smarter way using real time data.

“With this new localities plan, we want to take that community spirit through to every aspect of service working alongside and supporting communities to take control of the things that matter to them and helping to provide services that people want and will make a difference.

"This new way of working allows us to target the specific need of each community in a flexible way. It’s a new way of thinking and a real step forward.”