Senior public figures in Wiltshire have agreed to work together to support communities to tackle the issues that they are most concerned about.
At a recent meeting at County Hall in Trowbridge, the Wiltshire Public Services Board which is chaired by Baroness Scott of Bybrook OBE, discussed a major report that sets out a new approach for public services to work more closely with local communities.
The report focused on the outcome of a three-month community engagement programme running between November 2016 and February 2017. The programme involved conferences in each of Wiltshire’s 18 community areas with more than 1,900 local people attending and participating. The events provided an opportunity to discuss, agree and vote on the priorities for action in each of the 18 community areas.
Board members agreed to adopt the new approach that places communities firmly in the driving seat. This will include identifying and promoting community projects that have proved successful in an area and help other communities to replicate this work. The board was shown a case study featuring Wiltshire’s Men’s Sheds – a project that helps combat loneliness and isolation. Members noted that the Sheds originally launched in Westbury and Tidworth were now in seven other areas, supporting more than 300 people.
The new approach will also feature a ‘project bank’ containing hundreds of local projects that can help to address the priorities raised by communities. Public services will help communities by providing advice, support and resources including Wiltshire’s 18 community area managers.
Members of the board acknowledged the report and gave their full support for continuing to work together to help deliver the priorities highlighted by local communities.