Monday, October 29, 2007

Neighbourhood Partnership Working Group for Economic Development and Local Enterprise and Physical Regeneration

Now isnt that a title for a committee?

Our neighbourhood committee, Everton, Kensington and Fairfield, Picton has merged with the Waterfront committee (Riverside, Central and Kirkdale) to form City and North joint neighbourhood committee. We do still meet separately, but we also meet together.

In a new form of local funding, designed to move funds from the centre to local areas, the council in its wisdom has decided that we should work together for the common good in five key areas.

I am all in favour of similar wards working together to the same end. Don't get me wrong. But I should just point out here as I have done in every committee meeting, that anyone that thinks the people who live in waterfront condominiums by the marina have anything in common with people who live in the city centre, or that either of them have anything in common with people living on the Dingle, in Kenny, on Smithdown Road, in Everton or Vauxhall has a very different view of what constitutes a neighbourhood to me.

But so be it, this is our new neighbourhood and we must serve it.

The five areas, known as "blocks" we must concentrate on are

children and young people
safer and stronger communities
economic development and local enterprise
healthier communities and older people
physical regeneration.

Some joint neighbourhoods have five Neighbourhood Partnership Working Groups, one picking up on each of these blocks. For reasons I do not yet understand, in City and North we have to put two of these together. In our case we have put Physical Regeneration in with Economic Development and Local Enterprise. I am the new Chair of this working group. Steve Munby is charing children and young people, Jane Corbett is chairing healthier communities and older people and a council officer is chairing safer and stronger communities because the 4 LibDems in the neighbourhood said no to the chance to chair this vital area.

We had our first meeting of the Economic whatsit last week.

It was, if I am honest, a bit of a horlicks.

We had lots of people there from various organisations who specialise in jobs - like the JETs for instance and Connexions . Very good people that I am happy to have on board. We had people who work on economic development like Business Liverpool, equally good colleagues to work with.

What we didnt really have was anyone from Physical Regeneration - two only, but to fair they are both going to be very important to progress.

We will make sure we have lots more Physical Regen people in future. The invite list is being written even as I write. If you have any suggestions for people from any of these groups that we need to invite to cover this geography, let me know.

We have agreed to have a workshop before Christmas, of all the participants - council, agencies and partners who work in these fields across the "neighbourhood", where we will try our best to get a handle on our role and our priorities and then create an action plan.

Many priorities will be obvious - training and jobs in areas of high unemployment, regeneration needs in areas like Smithdown Road for instance, satisfying the needs of employers who want to come to Liverpool or who are already in Liverpool by making sure our people are highly trained in the kinds of work that they want to provide.

This is a really big challenge, a huge area where we need to work on plans for three years spending in some of the biggest issues in the city. I am looking forward to taking it on.

No comments: