The City Council is taking radical steps to devolve power and resources to local people, helping residents to get more involved in taking on responsibilities in their neighbourhoods.
Evidence shows that a large number of the city’s residents want to get involved in making a difference to their neighbourhoods and the council is committed to empowering them.
The council acknowledge that it does not always know what is best for different neighbourhoods and believes in the potential of residents to solve issues, hold the council to account and set priorities in the places where they live.
Unprecedented cuts to public spending mean that the council will increasingly be forced to reduce some services. The Council needs to be honest and acknowledge that this will create gaps in provision and this means that residents will need to get more involved in running their neighbourhoods.
The key theme of ‘devolving power and responsibilities to neighbourhoods’ will be debated at a public Policy Cabinet at the Beacon, Westgate Road on Wednesday 9 May from 4.30pm.
It will be attended by the city council’s cabinet team, plus a wide cross section of the community, including members of the public, residents’ groups, tenants’ associations, community groups and partners.
The council will also be live streaming this Policy Cabinet for the first time to give residents the opportunity to join the debate from home. The stream will be available on our Let's Talk Newcastle online website and a Topic Wall has been set up, where users can join in the live debate, once they have registered first.
The Policy Cabinet will continue the conversation the council is having with residents, partners and local councillors about devolving more responsibilities.
Councillor Henri Murison, cabinet member for quality of life at Newcastle City Council, said: “This will not be an easy conversation – it could have profound implications for the council and partners because at the same time we will be asking communities to take on powers and responsibilities that have always been seen as the job of the council.”
“The council has already taken many positive steps in creating Decent Neighbourhood Standards by giving more power, money and flexibility to wards, for example.
“These steps, along with supporting ward priorities, community budgeting and the council’s commitment to creating a co-operative council –where services are delivered in co-operation with communities – are a good starting point. But an even more ambitious plan is required to create smarter more diverse service delivery tailored to local need.
“Bridging the gap left by cuts to public funding will require a profound shift in the relationship between the council, its residents and partners.”
Page last updated: 9 May, 2012