At the end of October, I was greatly surprised to receive a letter from Dawn Jones, the Coordinator of North Neighbourhoods Partnership saying that the City’s Cabinet, at its meeting on 12 November, was likely to abolish Neighbourhoods Partnerships immediately. In previous Newsletters, I have told you of meetings called by Council officers in which an enhanced role for Neighbourhoods Partnerships was envisaged to implement the “Neighbourhoods Agenda”.
The view of the new City administration is different and they propose to work directly with residents’ associations. Indeed, Councillor Phil Williams, Cabinet Member for Housing and Neighbourhoods is holding a meeting on 30th January with the subject “Listening to Residents Associations in 2008”.

Things did not go as planned and Neighbourhoods Partnerships have gained at least a temporary reprieve. The full Council, meeting on 21 November, passed a motion:
“This Council is strongly committed to the principle of community involvement. Council also recognises that area-based working within local authorities is specifically encouraged in recent legislation. Council therefore confirms that its five Neighbourhoods Partnerships are a key vehicle for community consultation and participation. Council also notes that the Neighbourhoods Partnerships areas have been adopted by key partner agencies including the Police and Health.
Council therefore resolves that the retention of Neighbourhoods Partnerships, together with funding for Neighbourhoods Co-ordinators and an annual grant for community initiatives to be determined by the Partnerships, shall form an addendum to the Council’s Policy Framework”. The Council has established a working group to consider how best to enhance the roles and working of the Neighbourhoods Partnerships and to report by the 30th April.

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