Scrutiny Committee helps shapes approach to tackling deprivation

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News release: 16 February 2012

A more focused approach to providing support to disadvantaged areas in the District has been considered by St Albans City and District Council’s Overview and Scrutiny (Public Services) Committee.

The move follows a request by the Committee for the St Albans District Strategic Partnership to look at how it can help those local communities which have been identified as experiencing some disadvantages by the Government’s Index of Multiple Deprivation 2010. The areas include small parts of Batchwood, Cunningham, Park Street and Sopwell wards where information suggests some inequality.

At a meeting, the Committee heard that the St Albans District Strategic Partnership has developed a new range of support which includes funding for small community projects alongside larger scale initiatives. For example, larger scale projects include the provision of the Cunningham Community Hub and the development of the Marlborough Pavilion into a Community Centre for Sopwell.
 
The St Albans District Strategic Partnership has also set up an Inclusion and Inequalities Partnership to lead on identifying issues and needs relating to deprivation, diversity and social inclusion across the District and to implement projects and schemes to address these.

The Committee asked the St Albans District Strategic Partnership to also:

• use the local knowledge and expertise of ward councillors to help identify and tackle the causes of local deprivation.
• use ward profiles, to analyse and identify where these small pockets of deprivation exist and to focus its activity around these.
• support those projects which aim to tackle underlying indicators contributing to deprivation.

Councillor Robert Donald, Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny (Public Services) Committee at the Council, said: “The Committee has asked the District Strategic Partnership to make the most of statistics, local councillors’ knowledge of their own wards and other information to ensure that its work is focused on those areas most in need of help. It is important that people in the most disadvantaged areas are given every form of support possible to access those services and facilities which other citizens are able to do without difficulty.”

A webcast of the meeting on Thursday, 26 January can be viewed on the Council’s website. People with access to an appropriate computer with broadband internet access and Microsoft Windows media player will be able to view the meeting.

Member contact:
Cllr Robert Donald, Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny (Public Services) Committee
Tel: 01727 841647

Contact for the press:
Amanda Wilkinson,
Media and Internal Communications Officer
St Albans City and District Council
Tel: 01727 819317
E-mail: amanda.wilkinson@stalbans.gov.uk
www.stalbans.gov.uk

Notes:

1. The St Albans and District Strategic Partnership (LSP) is a group of key local public, private, voluntary and community sector organisations working together to improve the quality of life for everyone in the District.

2. A copy of the ‘Addressing Deprivation’ Report, presented to the Overview and Scrutiny (Public Services) Committee on 26 January, is available on the Council's website. 

3. The Government’s Index of Multiple Deprivation 2010 combines a number of indicators, chosen to cover a range of economic, social and housing issues, into a single deprivation score for each small area in England. It shows that on average sub-ward areas across St Albans City and District fall within the least deprived Districts in England.