Community Cohesion Strategy
One Wrexham Community Cohesion Strategy 2008-11
Following extensive consultation with partner agencies the Executive Board gave formal approval to Wrexham’s first multi agency Community Cohesion Strategy and Action plan in September 2008. Members of the Corporate Governance and Policy Scrutiny Committee had been directly involved in guiding and monitoring the development of the Strategy since the Council’s work on cohesion began in 2005.
A multi agency Community Cohesion Co-ordination Group was established. This group was responsible for taking forward the Community Cohesion Strategy and Action Plan.
One Wrexham Community Cohesion Strategy 2011-14
The first Community Cohesion Strategy and Action Plan came to a close in March 2011. Therefore, building on the work undertaken during 2010-11 and feedback from our partner agencies a revised Community Cohesion Strategy and Strategic Action Plan for 2011-14 has been developed.
The Community Cohesion Co-ordination Group held a multi agency Visioning event to:
- Achieve a consensus for taking the strategy forward;
- Shape our thinking around the second multi agency Community Cohesion Strategy 2011-14;
- Clarify our shared priority areas and be clear about what will not be included in The strategy and why;
- Ensure that we prioritise areas where we can have an impact;
- Confirm a shared agreement about what we know and what we need to know; and
- Review and agree the vision for cohesion and the key strategic objectives.
Consultation on the draft Strategy
Following approval by the Corporate Governance and Policy Scrutiny Committee in November 2010 consultation on the draft Strategy was undertaken between November 2010 and February 2011. This included:
- A number of community based events to facilitate greater understanding of the aims of the Strategy and to enable feedback; and
- A 6 week formal consultation period from 17 January to 25 February 2011.
Key consultation messages
Through the consultation process a number of key messages have been identified:
- Continue to deliver the priorities taken forward through the current community cohesion strategy;
- Increase the level of engagement with children and young people around the cohesion debate;
- Develop more explicit links with the equalities agenda;
- Explore in more detail community cohesion issues in relation to disability and develop options for increased engagement;
- Develop a better understanding of the links and shared priorities with community regeneration work;
- Improve the monitoring and evaluation arrangements; and
- Continue to mainstream community cohesion wherever possible.
Monitoring and evaluation
Monitoring and evaluation were identified as key concerns though the consultation process. Therefore a Results Based Accountability approach has been adopted to ensure that the revised Strategy is:
- Clear about what cohesion ‘results’ we want to achieve;
- That we understand what success will look and feel like;
- There is agreement about the practical steps we need to take to achieve the success we want; and
- There is agreement about the measures we will use to test whether we have achieved the results we want.
Equality Impact Assessment
A formal Equality Impact Assessment of the draft Strategy was undertaken in a workshop attended by members of the Community Cohesion Co-ordination Group. The workshop included:
- A brief presentation of the revised Strategy and Strategic Action Plan;
- Consideration of the potential impact of the Strategy on different groups using the council’s EASI questionnaires and information gained through the consultation and engagement process; and
- The development of an action plan to address the issues that had been identified.
The information gained from the workshop has been used to inform amendments to the draft Strategy and Strategic Action Plan.
Community Cohesion Priorities – 2011-14
The consultation process has confirmed that:
- The original priority areas are still relevant and provide a sound basis for future cohesion work;
- We should continue to take a whole community approach together with providing targeted community support where there is an identified need, particularly in relation to people with a protected characteristic; and
- Children and young people have a significant contribution to make to community cohesion.
Using the Results Based Accountability approach to monitoring the Strategy we have developed a way of describing these priorities that helps us to show whether people are better off as a result of our actions:
The overall result we want the Strategy to achieve for the people of Wrexham:
- Wrexham is a peaceful and harmonious place where people have a sense of belonging and get on well together.
Quantifiable description of what this result will look like:
- Wrexham is a place where people from different backgrounds get on well together;
- Wrexham is a place where community tensions are understood and are peacefully resolved at an early stage.
We have identified six key outcomes that we will be working on over the next three years in order to achieve this result:
|Outcomes||What this will look like|
|1. Minority communities are represented on strategic partnerships.||Increased representation of minority communities on strategic partnerships.|
|2. Public, voluntary and community sector staff understand who our communities are and what they need.||Community views inform Equality Impact Assessments.
Public, voluntary and community sector staff are more culturally competent and confident to engage with minority communities.
|3. Different communities come together in everyday situations.||People are confident to mix with people from different backgrounds.
Agencies are confident to bring together people from different backgrounds.
|4. People are confident to report community tensions.||Community tensions are reported.|
|5. Children and young people influence the community cohesion agenda.||Children and young people from minority communities are represented on strategic partnerships.|
|6. Children and young people are confident to mix well together.||Children and Young people are confident to mix with people from different backgrounds.
Agencies working with children and young people are confident to bring together children and young people from different backgrounds.
Each of these outcomes will be delivered through the Strategic Action Plan. In addition project level action plans will be developed to deliver each of the strategic outcomes.
Monitoring and review
Progress on implementing the Strategic Action Plan and the annual operational action plans are reviewed quarterly by the Community Cohesion Co-ordination Group and annually by the council’s Corporate Governance and Policy Scrutiny Committee.