Neighbourhood Management: empowering communities, shaping places
This report assesses the progress of Pathfinders over the last year, how they are changing, the lessons to be learnt and identifies the wider policy implications of their work for local government and public service delivery. In particular, this report presents overviews about activity and progress on crime and environment, economic development, community engagement and social capital.
Title: Neighbourhood Management: empowering communities, shaping places: Review 2006/7
Author: SQW & Partners for DCLG
Series: DCLG Research Report 37
Number of pages: 80
Date published: August 2007
Availability: Download full report PDF 736Kb
The Neighbourhood Management Pathfinder Programme was launched in 2001 by the former Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, now Communities and Local Government. Pathfinders were established in 35 deprived neighbourhoods across England to test the effectiveness of neighbourhood management as a tool to enable deprived communities and local services to improve local outcomes, by improving and joining up local services, and making them more responsive to local needs.
The 35 Pathfinders were each awarded funding for 7 years and established in two rounds. The 20 Round 1 Pathfinders were awarded £500,000 per year from 2002/03 (and are now in their sixth year) and the 15 Round 2 Pathfinders were awarded £350,000 per year from 2005/06 in order to test a slightly different approach (and are now in their third year). As of April 2007, the remaining funding for all Pathfinders is now delivered through Local Area Agreements, with funding decisions to be taken locally.
This report assesses the progress of the Pathfinders over the last year, how they are changing, the lessons to be learnt and identifies the wider policy implications of their work for local government and public service delivery. In particular, we look at how the Pathfinders are demonstrating the role that neighbourhood management can play in empowering communities and shaping places.
This report presents the findings of a full review of all 35 Pathfinders undertaken in the autumn of 2006, and also draws on household survey, statistical and case study evidence collated by the team. It has been prepared as part of the ongoing long-term evaluation of the Pathfinders by SQW and its partners.
Crime and environment
A key concern for all Pathfinders has been tackling local environmental and community safety concerns in their neighbourhoods. Neighbourhood managers have been able to establish good working relationships with relevant mainstream providers, facilitate stronger joint working between them, and engage local residents in ways that increased the responsiveness of the providers. Neighbourhood management has, through this, helped to bring about improvements, and some innovations, in both environmental and community safety services in many areas.
The evidence suggests that this, in turn, has contributed to increased resident satisfaction in many Pathfinder neighbourhoods, particularly in relation to neighbourhood cleanliness. In all but a few neighbourhoods, these increases were greater than in the virtual comparator:
The proportion of residents in the Round 1 Pathfinder areas who were satisfied with street cleaning increased from 60% to 68% over 2003-2006, whilst it fell by 2% points to 61% in the virtual comparator. Seventeen of the areas showed an increase in satisfaction rates relative to the virtual comparator.
Sixteen of the twenty Round 1 Pathfinder areas had reductions in the proportion of residents seeing litter/rubbish and seventeen had reductions in the proportion of residents seeing vandalism/graffiti as problems in the neighbourhood, with nearly all of these showing reductions that exceeded those in the virtual comparator.
Fourteen Round 1 Pathfinder areas showed an increase in the proportion of residents satisfied with police services that was faster than in the virtual comparator and seventeen where this proportion was higher than in the comparator in 2006.
The perceived and reported improvements in the Pathfinder areas were more clear-cut with regard to environmental rather than community safety conditions and services where the issues are more complex and improvements in conditions and services less transparent. This was also the case with regard to the generally positive assessment of the specific contribution of the Pathfinders to improved environmental quality and community safety.
The links between Pathfinder activities and improved community safety outcomes proved harder to define partly because this was a time when neighbourhood policing was rapidly expanding. However, the case study evidence shows that those Pathfinders that worked closely with the police services could exercise a powerful influence in bringing about positive safety outcomes even in areas most unfavourably positioned at the outset.
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Last update: Friday, August 24, 2007