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52.1 Introduction
 
This section outlines the methodology employed in the course of the development of the Colin Neighbourhood Strategy.
 
This strategy was developed as outlined in Figure 2.1 below. The process is reflected in the structure of this document.
 
On appointment, Deloitte initiated the assignment in a workshop with the Colin Steering Committee (CNI) in order to:
 
  • confirm scope and detail of the exercise and fine tune the proposed methodology as appropriate;
  • determine Strategy Steering Committee as contact point for contractual, reporting and quality monitoring purposes;
  • determine basic structure of Colin neighbourhood Strategy Team and reporting and accountability processes;
  • seek agreement on key processes, assessment and management; confirm detailed timetable highlighting significant reporting stages;
  • confirm key milestones, outputs and other deliverables.
At this stage a structure was put in place to ensure that the strategy process was implemented effectively and robustly.
 
This structure included the appointment of a Neighbourhood Strategy Team to ensure the development of the strategy. In addition, it was agreed that a number of the area strategy teams were to be put in place across the Colin neighbourhood. Originally three teams were proposed but as the assignment progressed it became clear that there was a significant gap in representation from the Kilwee area.

 

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The rationale for such an approach to the assignment was to ensure that the strategy development would be:

  • representative across all areas;
  • transparent;
  • accountable; and
  • include voluntary, community and economic interest.
Over the period of conducting this study the Deloitte Team kept itself appraised of various policy documents which were in place or were emerging from Government Departments and agencies.
 
These documents included those which were specific to Themes identified by the Strategy Committee e.g. Investing in Health, Belfast Metropolitan Plan and those which were specific to the Regeneration and Neighbourhood Renewal.
 
 

In 2001 the UK Government issued ‘The National Strategy for Neighbourhood Renewal: A Framework for Consultation’ setting out the Government’s position on the need to address the revitalisation of poor neighbourhoods. The document highlighted the reasons that past efforts have failed to address such issues effectively:
 
  • the economic ghettoisation of these neighbourhoods;
  • the erosion of social capital; the contact, trust and solidarity that enables residents to help rather than fear each other;
  • the failure of core services in deprived areas where public services have been set targets only for improving national averages and not for the outcomes in deprived areas; and
  • the lack of clear strategy or concerted joint action. It has been no-ones job-at neighbourhood local, regional or national level - to ensure that the services work together.
The aim of the Strategy is to arrest the wholesale decline of deprived neighbourhoods, to reverse it and to prevent it from recurring.

The document identifies the means of achieving the strategy as:
 
  • reviving local economies;
  • reviving communities;
  • ensuring decent services; and
  • leadership and joint working.
The implementation of the UK Policy was saw a range of Publication and Bets Practice Guides for Neighbourhood Renewal including:
 
  • Collaboration and Co-ordination in Area- Based Initiatives; ODPM /Neighbourhood Renewal Unit;
  • Accreditation of Local Strategy Partnership; ODPM /Neighbourhood Renewal Unit; and
  • New Deal for New Communities; National Evaluation Scoping Phase; DTLR.
Within Northern Ireland, the Department for Social Development issued its consultation document ‘Urban Renewal in Northern Ireland-Neighbourhood Renewal; a consultation document’
This consultation document outlined the proposed focus of the strategy for neighbourhood renewal in Northern Ireland as:
 
  • to tackle the most acute deprivation and disadvantage;
  • to place regeneration at the centre of the work of departments, agencies and programmes;
  • to empower communities to shape, and then drive, urban renewal initiatives in their areas by focusing regeneration level;
  • to move away from project/policy instrument-led regeneration towards an area and needs-based approach;
  • to develop and enhance city and town centres in physical, economic and social terms enhancing their competitiveness and improving linkages to disadvantaged areas;
  • to develop and implement plans on a partnership basis; and
  • for the purpose of achieving sustainable renewal and stability to commit to a seven to 10 year planning and implementation time-scale.
In 2003 as the Colin strategy was being finalised, The Department for Social Development launched ‘People and Place; A Strategy for Neighbourhood Renewal’. The document clearly identifies that: ‘local people must be engaged and empowered to drive forward regeneration and renewal in their areas’
 
This is the approach which was adapted in developing the Colin strategy and it is envisaged that the delivery of the strategy includes clear local participation.

This document was underpinned by Programme for Government with particular focus on the New Targeting Social Need policy.
 
 

A wide range of documents provided significant context for the development of the strategy.
 
  • Programme for Government;
  • BRO Strategy Document (Draft);
  • Investing in Health;
  • Belfast Metropolitan Area Plan;
  • Regional Development Strategy; and
  • Employability Task Force.

 

From the outset the Deloitte and Smith Scott Mullan Associates team were clear that if the strategy was to be effective it needed to represent the views, aspirations and concerns of the Colin community. This was even more significant in this case because Colin may well prove to be a ‘first’ in terms of Neighbourhood Renewal in Northern Ireland and equally importantly Colin represents a community which is emerging from the conflict of the past thirty years.
 
The Consultation took several forms and was applied at a number of levels and stages. These are outlined in Table 2.1 below.
 

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Throughout the process of developing the strategy, the Deloitte team worked closely with the Colin Steering Committee to ensure a transparent and accountable process. Without defining the process as such, the strategy development was an action learning process and learning occurred through:
 
  • consultation;
  • document review;
  • bi-lateral and workshop engagement with stakeholders;
  • input by group members who brought very valuable practitioner experience of the ‘on the ground’ community development; and
  • sharing perspectives of the various representatives around the table including Statutory bodies, elected representatives, community representatives and business interests.

 

The various levels and types of engagement during the process provided a useful framework for community planning across Colin. This planning includes both physical planning and broader social and economic planning and the strategy is an output of local needs matched against Government priorities.
 
It is important to recognise that the input of the local community validates the findings while recognising that needs change within communities and this will be the case in Colin.Overview of strategic context
 

 

Contact Us

Colin Neighbourhood Partnership
Cloona House
31 Colin Road
Poleglass
Belfast, BT17 0LG
Tel: 028 9062 3813
Fax: 028 9030 9722
info@newcolin.com

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