Maintaining structures and initiatives for the long term

Sustaining residents' voice and influence over the long term means putting robust arrangement in place that are sensitive to local needs, and thinking about how these will be funded into the future.

One option is new formal arrangements like community contracts and neighbourhood managementGlossary: is a process of coordinating public service delivery at a local level .

Read an evaluation of Community Contracts

Neighbourhood Charters:

A neighbourhood charterGlossary: A neighbourhood (or local) charter is a voluntary partnership agreement between a community, the local authority and other service providers is a voluntary partnership agreement between a community, the local authority and other service providers. It can lay out details of expected service standards, action plans and/or local priorities with clear commitments from both service providers and local communities in helping to meet these targets. They can be shaped through participation, and often the element of engaging the community is as important as the end charter. Creating a charter can improve efficiency of, and satisfaction with, services, help clarify the role of different partners and service providers, and build local trust and community capacity.

Read more about Neighbourhood Charters

Neighbourhood managementGlossary: is a process of coordinating public service delivery at a local level :

Long term management arrangements of any new development, no matter what the tenureGlossary: refers to the ownership status of a household’s property mix, need to be determined before residents move in. For large scale new developments there is persuasive evidence that a local management team should be provided. For smaller scale developments, there are other approaches, involving a lighter touch that would be more cost effective.

Alternatively the management of a new development can sometimes be covered within the existing arrangements that apply to surrounding areas - with the added value of reinforcing the external links between the new community and other areas. Good management can be a pre-condition to other initiatives that brings new communities together (conversely bad management can act as a catalyst for community action). Not only does local management prevent a downward spiral, it contributes directly to the infrastructure through which local communities can exercise voice and influence.

Institutional arrangements like community contracts or neighbourhood managementGlossary: is a process of coordinating public service delivery at a local level can be very effective but rely on funding and support from key agencies to make them work.

Community Partnerships:


Pan Village, Isle of Wight

The Pan Neighbourhood Partnership in the Newport area of the Isle of Wight won the 2009 Empowering Communities award. The partnership, which has been funded as a Government ‘Neighbourhood Pathfinder', is an example of local residents, Council and service providers coming together to regenerate a disadvantaged community which suffered from vandalism, anti-social behaviour and a fear of crime.

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Balsall Health Forum, Birmingham

The Balsall Heath Forum is a Company Limited by Guarantee. Every resident over 18 in Balsall Heath is eligible to become a member. There are 18 elected membersGlossary: Elected members of local authorities are also known as councillors of the executive, 12 residents and 6 from Voluntary Organisations. Only 4 residents and 2 Voluntary members stand down each year. So, there is continuity with just a third being elected each year and all serve for a three year stint once elected.

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Coin Street, London

Coin Street community builders is a good example of community ownership providing an asset base and foundations for a thriving community.

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Find out about the impact of Neighbourhood Management

Find out about the costs and benefits of Neighbourhood Management

Models of community ownership, including tenant management organisations and community land trusts have been shown to be effective in the right context.

Read about Tenant Management Organisations

Read about the benefits of Community Land Trusts

Community organisations can be funded by traditional grant funding, through endowments laid down at the early stage of a development (or as a result of housing stock transfer or other significant change). They can also be income generating, through developing social enterprisesGlossary: Social enterprises are profit-making businesses set up to tackle a social or environmental need that trade at surplus. These could include cafés, gardening businesses, building and maintenance, shops and business of all kinds from local corner shops through to hairdressers.

There is increasing interest in community investment - different approaches to issuing shares to enable community agencies to expand. This could include selling shares to service users or more conventional share offers.

Find out about Community Shares

There has been considerable interest in recent years in asset transfer - transferring the ownership of public assets to community ownership. But the benefits of this approach are largely unevidenced.

Read more about the benefits of asset transfer to local communities