Review of the residents and business membership of the Neighbourhood Partnership and future options – September 2011 The Neighbourhood Partnership agreed to review its membership by December 2011. The following options have been developed for consultation and consideration by the Neighbourhood Forums in September 2011. Up to 3 options will be presented to the next Neighbourhood Partnership meeting on the 5th October. There are lots of unanswered questions about numbers and the processes.This detail will come. The question at this stage is which general approach do you prefer? Which 3 options should be presented to the Neighbourhood Partnership? Once this has been decided there will be further work on the detail between October and December 2011. A key issue for the Neighbourhood Partnership going forward is the involvement and representation of young people which ever option is agreed by the NP. The processfor involving community and voluntary sector will also be considered in the coming weeks. What has informed these options? Between March and May 2011 we asked residents to give us feedback about the current membership of the neighbourhood partnership. We spoke to people one to one, sent out a questionnaire to over 500 residents by email and set up a survey monkey. Key messageswere: 1. Most people think the partnership is the right size (for this reason we have not proposed any options which significantly reduces the residents attending the NP). 2. Most people think the partnership should represent the defined neighbourhoods of the area, for example, Redcliffe, Redfield and Montpelier AND the diverse population. 3. The people on the NP need to represent and be accountable to the communities it serves. 4. No preference about residents being elected with equal numbers for and against (this is where there are formal ‘one person, one vote’ elections. 5. Most people did not think residents should be nominated from existing groups (albeit with a small margin).
OPTION Option 1 Do nothing
MEMBERS 6 ward members 25 residents 8 community/vol groups 5 public service providers 2 businesses 2 young people 1 equalities rep
RISKS Decision making can be difficult in large groups but decisions are being made and the meetings are well managed. This risk is therefore negligible currently. In practice rarely is everyone present. Little opportunity for people who haven’t been involved to get involved. Appears ‘closed’ to people who are not involved.
PROBLEMS Basedon community partnership structures which do not reflect the whole area. Seemsunclear to people not already involved.
BENEF ITS Large diverse group reflecting different sectors, ages, geographic and ethnic communities.
Builds on what existed before and benefits from collective Some geographic communities knowledge and expertise. are better represented than others. Initial consultation suggested residents want to be well Inconsistent levels of represented. accountability to and involvement in the Neighbourhood Forums (becausecurrent members people were not elected by the NF) Processfor joining the NP is unclear. 1
CONCLUSION Not sustainable in its current form but would make senseto sustain the level of involvement. Problems could be addressedwith some minor changes(see option 2) The issuesof accountability to the NF can be addressed by applying and monitoring membership rules agreed by the NP.
Option 2 Make minor changes to increase representat ion from under represente d areas
Increasenumbers (to be determined) of residents from under-represented areas - St Werburghs, Montpelier/St Andrews, Redcliffe by electing residents at the Neighbourhood Forum. Increasebusinessesto reflect different sectors e.g. traders, construction. Vacancies are increasingly filled with residents who are elected at the Neighbourhood Forum.
Decision making can be difficult in large groups but decisions are being made and the meetings are well managed. This risk is therefore negligible currently
Inconsistent levels of accountability to and involvement in the Neighbourhood Forums.
Tackles under-representation of some geographic communities.
Addressesthe main problem with ‘Option 1’.
Option 3 Repselected by the Nhd Forum
In addition to the 6 ward Councillors, Equalities rep and young people and statutory partners residents elected from each ward (number to be determined ) by the Neighbourhood Forums with some places allocated to ‘neighbourhoods’ and other places for different communities e.g. 13 places per ward: 6 representing neighbourhoods 3 representing different ethnic communities 2 representing age groups. 1 business 1 community and vol. sector.
Lose current involvement which is diverse with no guarantees of filling the places.
The resident NP membership is made up of a) nominations from existing neighbourhood groups: Ashley (8) St Pauls Unlimited St Werburghs Neighbourhood Assn
The NP membership will be as strong as the neighbourhood organisation – i.e. It relies on organisations being accountable to the communities they serve.
The issuesof accountability Continues to benefit from the to the NF can be addressed commitment and knowledge of by applying and monitoring existing members. membership rules agreed by the NP. Opportunity for new people to get involved. Continues to reflect a diverse group
Continues to be a large group and so meeting preparation and strong chairing is essential. Links to existing neighbourhood groups is lost e.g. St Pauls Unlimited, Easton & Lawrence Hill NM, St Werburghs Neighbourhood Assn.
There is limited staffing capacity to carry out development work. Would largely be relying on people being self motivated. It would be possible to target underrepresented communities once initial elections had taken place.
‘new start’ – opportunity to involve new people and ‘level the playing field’.
No guarantees the membership will reflect the diversity of the area.
Local organisations make the decisions about who attends and ensures accountability.
Wasnot supported in the initial consultation.
Maintains current connections with active groups in the area.
Relying on established networks 2
Representatives are accountable to the Neighbourhood Forums.
If this was the preferred option it would need to be developed further – number of places, how to secure diversity of representation.
MEMBERS Montpelier St Andrews Park Easton & Lawrence Hill (16) Easton & Lawrence Hill Neighbourhood Management Redcliffe Forum PLUS: Existing NP wide groups organised to represent communities of interest
RISKS could make it harder for new people to get involved.
Somekind of ‘quality checking’ may be possible such as groups constitution, meetings being openly advertised,
BENEF ITS CONCLUSION It recognisesexisting local organisations/activists, invests in them and utilises their knowledge and expertise More likely NP makes decisions informed by people active/involved.
Next steps: a) Feedback from Forums, emails lists & websites b) 3 options to be presented to NP on 5 th October c) NP determines which option to be developed in detail in consultation with the NF’s for approval at the December NP. d) Implementation in 2012
Penny Germon Neighbourhood Manager
NP Membership Options Sept 2011