The draft All Age Skills Strategy for Central Bedfordshire is now available on the Central Bedfordshire Council website.
The All Age Skills Strategy recognises the importance of skills to businesses, individuals and the local economy. It has a fundamental role to play in fulfilling Central Bedfordshire’s economic potential through effective partnership working.
The document outlines some of the background to the development of the Strategy, including reference to relevant policies and information on the current skills performance of Central Bedfordshire.
It also contains some suggested priorities and areas of activity focus which have been shaped by the feedback from the workshops, focus groups and in-depth interviews that have been held over the previous months.
Like to get involved?
Give us your views by completing the online questionnaire here.
We will be accepting feedback on the draft strategy until 28 October 2011. We will then collate and utilise this feedback to produce the final All Age Skills Strategy which we aim to complete by the end of this year.
Want to find out more?
If you would like to find out more about the All Age Skills Strategy, please contact Donna Wilkinson, Regeneration and Skills Officer, Central Bedfordshire Council on 0300 300 5628.
Central Bedfordshire Together is undertaking an annual review and refresh of the Community Engagement Strategy (CES) and its delivery plan, to ensure it is aligned with the latest national policy and local aspirations.
The aim of the CES is to deliver greater added value to our citizens by understanding their needs and issues, and giving them greater involvement in the decision-making process and access to services.
How have we done so far?
Good overall progress has been made against the 41 actions set out for the first year. A performance management system is in place, which is overseen by a sub-group of the Stronger Communities Thematic Partnership.
Since the CES was developed a new legislative framework has begun to emerge to build the Big Society. The Localism Bill is planned to support a shift of power away from central government to councils and local communities.
A fundamental element of this is to empower local people to get involved with and direct the development of their communities. Whilst the existing strategy supports this, a refresh will ensure it is fully aligned with the latest national policy as well as local aspirations.
The refresh will focus on:
- Removing any actions already achieved or no longer relevant and adding new ones;
- Refreshing the principles to ensure the key drivers are adequately embraced; and
- Identifying specific and measurable outcomes to achieve through improved community engagement.
National and local drivers that will be addressed as part of the refresh include:
- Reviewing and updating the CES and action plan to reflect the Localism Bill;
- A genuine desire to enhance our engagement with communities (ensuring meaningful consultation);
- Communities doing more for themselves and the need to proactively facilitate this;
- Service and organisational reviews and remodelling of delivery approaches, and overcoming obstacles associated with the transfer of responsibility for the delivery of local services;
- A cultural shift to embrace and mainstream wider involvement and engagement in the delivery of public services;
- The new Equality Duty to ensure we engage with all of Central Bedfordshire’s diverse communities; and
- A raft of other legislation driving considerable change within partner organisations and impacting on community and stakeholder engagement
Like to find out more…?
Please contact Sarah Hughes, Community Engagement Manager, Central Bedfordshire Council on 0300 300 6166.
Holden McAllister were commissioned by Central Bedfordshire Together to undertake a multi-agency review of Central Bedfordshire’s response to anti-social behaviour (ASB).
The aim of the review was to identify gaps in service, and to develop an action plan to ensure that Central Bedfordshire’s response to ASB is effective.
The Community Safety Partnership (CSP) Strategic Assessment 2011-12 reports that ASB accounted for 23.4% of the incidents reported to Bedfordshire Police, which was a slight reduction compared to previous years.
The review makes 6 priority recommendations:
- Need for a shared definition of ASB
- Formalise key partner contacts to facilitate information sharing
- Task and Finish Group to be set up to consider how repeat victimisation can be more easily identified
- ASB Case Conferences are established for high risk cases on Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC) lines
- Mapping of diversionary activities to prevent ASB and Central Bedfordshire Together supports work to identify and address root causes
- CSP to identify the impact of structural changes to support services around ASB e.g Integrated Youth Support Services, Connexions; and seek Central Bedfordshire Together to mitigate negative impacts.
The full report can be viewed here.
The Ageing Well programme is ‘an opportunity to enhance outcomes for older people in Central Bedfordshire.’
Central Bedfordshire Council has received an Ageing Well Programme Offer which supports local authorities to promote the independence and well being of older people. This work is being led by the Local Government Group (LGG), and takes a place-based approach looking at how services are delivered.
It aims to support local authorities to improve their services and to develop good places to grow old. It will focus on service design and transformation to improve efficiency and outcomes for older people which can best be achieved by older people fully engaging in their local communities, and in the development of services.
The Central Bedfordshire offer will be locality focused, taking a whole systems approach to promote positive images of ageing, in partnership with older people.
‘Maintaining quality services…’
The programme encourages partnerships with other local organisations and seeks to develop imaginative approaches to local issues. An essential aspect of the programme is helping local authorities to improve efficiency while maintaining quality services. It is a good opportunity to take a whole systems view on services and will be important in our work to redesign how services are delivered for older people.
The programme has four main themes; Leadership, Strategic Approach, Engagement of older people and Joined up commissioning and delivery of services for older people. Support from the LGG is tailored to meet specific local needs and priorities.
The pre-requisites for this offer for support are:
- corporate leadership across the public sector is committed to a spirit of joint action
- a commitment to focus on outcomes rather than current service inputs
- commitment to the engagement of older people in the process
- a willingness to consider innovative approaches and transformational change
This timely offer will focus on early intervention and prevention, supporting self funders to be aware of the full range of services available to them to enable them to maximise their independence. It will also explore opportunities to build capacity in the community to meet the challenges of an ageing population.
This work will help to address some of the issues and priorities highlighted by the Older Peoples Reference Group (OPRG) that older people would like to ‘Keep on doing things for themselves that that they value’, which might include everyday living activities such as shopping and cooking, as well as working, seeing friends and family, helping others and going out and having fun.
The Programme will also explore issues such as:
- accessibility of information and advice
- housing to meet future needs
- access to transport via community initiatives
- volunteering opportunities
Like to find out more…?
For more information about this project please contact Diana Blackmun Service User Engagement Officer, Central Bedfordshire Council on 0300 300 6647.
You can visit the Ageing Well website here.
One of the key themes in the Sustainable Community Strategy (SCS) for Central Bedfordshire is to ‘raise standards and tackle inequalities’ in the area.
The SCS also contains a specific commitment to lessen inequality
by ‘…providing easily accessible, high quality welfare advice and information services’.
To help meet these commitments, the Advice Strategy lays out, for the first time, a strategic approach for the planning, funding and delivery of social welfare advice provision in Central Bedfordshire.
Following approval by the Stronger Communities Thematic Partnership on 25 May 2011, the draft Advice Strategy for Central Bedfordshire was approved and endorsed by the Central Bedfordshire Together Board on 5 July 2011 with a number of positive comments and good feedback.
The next stage will be to develop an action plan and a proposal on how to set up an Advice Planning Board.
The Advice Strategy can be downloaded here…