New ways of getting things done at Wyre
Published on Monday 27th June 2011
Fresh and more effective ways of engaging with communities are being explored by Wyre Council.
With a new focus on getting local people to take more pride in their neighbourhoods and do more to shape services, the council wants to work even closer with existing residents associations, parish and town councils.
These groups will now be used to drive forward positive ideas for solving grassroots issues. As a result the council, under the banner of the Wyre Strategic Partnership, will no longer be organising the local area forums. Attendance of the quarterly meetings has fallen significantly in the past year and the focus has shifted towards information giving by public bodies instead of getting things done.
By contrast, people-led groups such as the Thornton Action Group (TAG), Rossall Beach Residents Association and the Fleetwood Seafront Development Partnership have achieved more proactive results such as organising clean-ups and helping with the choice of consultants for the Sea Change project.
Councillor Peter Gibson, Leader of Wyre Council, said: "Attendance at Local Area Forums has reduced by more than a third during the past 12 months and in some cases the average attendance has been less than 15 people per meeting. Often agenda items at the area forums are duplicated especially where there is already an active parish or town council or residents association. This is not the best use of resources.
"Attendance has however increased massively when residents are concerned about a single major issue that excites them, such as the Travellers at Preesall or plans for a Poulton health centre. Residents can be assured that we will continue to support one-off meetings to ensure views are aired fully, openly and transparently.
"Our desire to engage with the public and listen to what they have to say hasn't changed, we strongly believe there are more effective ways of doing it."
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