The way ahead for Community Action

Community Action picture

The Council is facing significant budget cuts which mean that we need to take a radical look at the way things are done.  This includes what services and assets we continue to manage and which we are unable to support.  The Council’s Sustainable Swansea – Fit for the Future Strategy is about transforming Council services, ensuring the financial viability of the Council, and improving outcomes for residents. This means finding new models of service delivery which are sustainable. With this aim, a group of Swansea Councillors have carried out an inquiry into this matter.  The outcome of this work will be put to the Councils Cabinet meeting in October.

Councillor Terry Hennegan, the Convener of the Panel said ‘I firmly believe that a community can only be sustainable if all its members have an equal opportunity to participate fully in the life of that community’.

Community Action is about placing more say and control in the hands of local communities to meet their needs, wants and expectations so they are more self-sufficient. To this end the Council has embarked on a journey to work with the voluntary, community, public and private sector in Swansea and the wider region to promote Community Action, build capacity and develop projects for communities to run services or manage assets.

The Panel understand that the Council is at the beginning of that Community Action journey and have welcomed the opportunity to be involved in developing the way forward through this report. Councillors are pleased to see the progress made particularly around sports and leisure services.  The report draws a number of conclusions and makes recommendations focused on how the Council can best support residents to run services in own communities. Many of these have a particular emphasis on communicating and working closely with residents, community groups and our third sector partners.

The Panel believe the Council need to be better at communicating and working with communities as well as at collaborating with our partners in the third sector to ensure that services continue and are of good quality.  We recognise that Swansea Council for Voluntary Service is one of our key strategic partners and has an important role in preparing and supporting community groups and volunteers to take on more responsible roles within our communities.

The Panel would like to thank all those people who have contributed to this inquiry including Councillors, Officers and those from community centres who attended a focus group along with all the survey respondents who took the time to complete our questionnaire.

You can find a copy of our report along with further information about scrutiny more generally on our web pages at www.swansea.gov.uk/scrutinypublications

Leave a Comment

*