Agenda item

Asset based community development model

To consider ‘what is an asset based community development model’ (verbal).


Clive Emmett outlined the Asset Based Community Development’s (ABCD) premise in that communities could drive the development process themselves by identifying and mobilising and energising existing, but often unrecognised assets. He said that this approach had been driven by Nurture Development.


The Communities Health and Wellbeing Manager said that this ABCD approach involved consulting with residents as well as reviewing the use of buildings. She suggested that it would then be easier to take a step back afterwards following the review.


Councillor Coote said that he supported the principles of UDC passing responsibility to third tier councils and community groups.


Councillor Khan outlined the current arrangements at Stansted where the Day Centre model had been transformed with the support of Touchpoint. He said that the idea of “re-imagining the service” had been taken forward to place Stansted ahead of the game. He said that he would be happy to provide further information.


The Communities Health and Wellbeing Manager supported the line that had been adopted at Stansted with Touchpoint involvement in order to reach out to the community.


Councillor Tayler referred to the position in respect of the Thaxted Day Centre. He said that he considered that the ABCD approach had taken place previously with the community coming forward with many good ideas. He said this had been successful up until the last two years and that what was now needed was a robust model for management of the facility.


The Chair said there was a need to move on; he said that the day centres at Stansted, Dunmow and Thaxted were almost functional and that they were better being handled locally by a few employees and volunteers without any direct UDC staff.


Councillor Khan said that at Stansted staff were employed through Touchpoint, which was locally based and could look to replicate good practice.


Clive Emmett summarised the arrangements in place between CVS Uttlesford and Touchpoint and offered to provide similar support to Thaxted if requested. He said that the energy available in Thaxted could be utilised to produce a sustainable model.


The Communities Health and Wellbeing Manager explained the situation at the Rowena Davey Centre in Dunmow and supported involving organisations the likes of Touchpoint in giving things back to the community.


The Chair said that it was important that any outcomes survived any changes of administration in UDC.


In response to a question from Councillor Coote, Clive Emmett clarified that CIC’s were businesses with social consciences and CIO’s were charities which could exist with minimal funding and were managed through volunteers.


The Chair said that he had made clear to the Director – Finance and Corporate Services that any models needed financial support in real terms. He said that £94.5k was ring-fenced and that he would look to ensuring that some available funds were released and that he saw Stansted as the first area for progression.


The Communities Health and Wellbeing Manager agreed to contact Touchpoint to ask if their project details could be released to members as there was a clear model in place at Stansted that could be utilised elsewhere.


The Chair said that two projects would be taken forward: a “Here and Now” and a “Tomorrow and the Day After”. He said that the working group was currently looking at the “Here and Now” scenario.


The Communities Health and Wellbeing Manager said that the purpose of the review was to look at community services available within the district, identify any gaps and then look to the day centres to accommodate those services which would then open those buildings to be utilised by the whole community. She suggested that day centres might be re-named as community hubs.


The Senior Health Improvement Officer said that engagement with the community was the key to moving forward.


Councillor Tayler said that re-naming of facilities should not be a priority.


Councillor Khan said that principles needed to be adhered to in respect of a 21st Century re-imagined service and that Parish Councils could engage with communities through organisations such as Touchpoint.


Councillor Day supported the views expressed by the Communities Health and Wellbeing Manager; he said that he saw the role of UDC as trying to galvanise and assist in that the UDC team had the necessary expertise and contacts. He also said that it should also be recognised that, in addition to four day centres, there were also other Community Centres in district to consider.


The Chair summarised the position and said that he would use the minutes from this meeting to move forward. He referred to there being a Cabinet meeting on 1 July 2021; he said that monies should be made available in a controlled way and there was a need not to over plan but to then look to the future.