COMMUNITY AREA PARTNERSHPS – IN A NUTSHELL
The Community Area Partnerships have developed over a number of years and aim to be a co-ordinated voice of the community and a key local body for Town and Parish Councils, representatives of businesses, the voluntary sector, local people and community leaders to carry out consultations, to debate local issues and to prioritise community needs. The Community Area Plan and its updates are central to the partnership’s activity and remain its mandate for local action and, where relevant, Parish Plans have also been developed and fed into this process. Partnerships are well established across most of the county with the exception of South Wiltshire.
- To be an open, transparent body with an inclusive terms of reference that represents key stakeholders and local people in a given community area and draws its membership widely from across the statutory and non-statutory sectors
- To identify local issues and priorities through a process of community planning with key service providers and other stakeholders; to publish these findings in a community area plan or charter and to facilitate and monitor this action.
- To devise and implement a programme of community engagement, participation and consultation across the community area; to develop an evidence base of qualitative and quantitative indicators of local need
- To lobby the Area Board for actions and decisions to be made; to work with the Board on initiatives to tackle cross-cutting issues or issues which require a collaborative style of working.
- To host local engagement events such as the State of the Community Area debate jointly with the Area Board.
- To broker solutions to local problems including the establishment and support of theme groups that will encourage and support local people in developing local projects to address any problems or issues; and signposting people to other agencies, as appropriate.
- To facilitate the funding of projects including developing funding applications to external bodies and administering this funding, if necessary through an accountable body.
The Community Area Partnership will operate with a terms of reference which will include the election of a chair, a vice chair, a treasurer and secretary at its Annual General Meeting. Its administration will be supported by a Community Agent. There will be a standing core membership of volunteers but the partnership is open to anyone from the area who wants to join, including representatives of local organisations and public service delivery bodies. Some partnerships will have established theme groups to deal with different community issues, whose membership will vary according to the issues at hand.