Bury Council on behalf of Team Bury
Whole System Transformation through Team Bury’s Neighbourhood Engagement Framework and System Leadership
Briefly describe the initiative/ project/ service
Bury’s Neighbourhood Engagement Framework has been developed to offer a standardised approach to engagement across Team Bury partners but is flexible enough to facilitate genuine co-production that works for each local area. This is much more than just the Council – it includes police, fire, acute and community health, education providers, business leaders and voluntary sector working together as a system for the Borough.
The framework is made up of 3 levels:
Borough Wide: Digital-first engagement platform, building at pace and scale on existing offer of The Bury Directory and Quality of Life Wheel, including consultation management, bespoke newsletters for community stories and voting for participatory budgeting.
Township level: network approach enabling local residents to pro-actively engage with staff, business and CVS organisations in their area, supported by a neighbourhood System Leader.
Ward level: participatory budgeting based on co-produced local priorities and outcomes, and discretionary budgets for ward Councillors through pre-paid cards in the style of personal social care budgets.
As a collective they offer a powerful and innovate approach to changing the relationship between local services and local people.
Why do you think it should win this award?
Our framework demonstrates an asset based, place-based approach that redefines services placing individuals, families and communities at their heart through reforming the whole system – not just Council officers, not just Councillors, but community and system leadership as a whole. The framework removes the paternalistic perception of the Council and statutory partners, activating citizens, especially around the responsibility for people’s health and wellbeing.
Borough wide digital engagement provides a ‘one place’ approach, accessible 24/7 from any location, rather than multiple agencies providing isolated, passive information which duplicates, or at worst contradicts, from insitutionalised silos (often inefficient physical ones in terms of buildings/facilities). There is now a consistency of dialogue (two-way) and a shared outcomes framework.
At a ward level genuine co-production, including with the local VCFS, has seen local people take charge of what matters most to them, allocating funding and support to key community assets. It is collaborative, it is doing ‘with’ not ‘to’ local people on things that matter to their community rather than what existing services in existing configurations may dictate,eg 1-size fits all.
What are the key achievements?
The Framework is delivering at pace and scale a fundamental shift in relationships for the people of Bury. Clunky, bureaucratic, paper heavy, under-represented, institutional Township Forum meetings have been replaced with more creative engagement that lead and energise local communities, giving people pride in their place, their Bury, our Bury.
Partner organisations who have worked well side-by-side in the past are now coming together, integrating engagement, with people as a system in a place, and residents supported in their involvement with local agencies and assets, promoting early intervention and prevention.
6 System Leaders, drawn from a cross-section of public bodies, and 9 cross-party Elected Member Engagement leads are in place. This collectively shows the whole system leadership that has been secured to engage a different conversation in enabling people to help people help themselves and others live a good life.
Participatory Budgeting events (including #LoveBuryEast & The Pitch) have seen the public allocate funding to over 50 local groups, who will report back at an annual celebration event, which itself has been combined with that of the Police and Six Town Housing, to create system wide recognition.