The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Council has shown its commitment to community engagement by setting up a dedicated Community Engagement Team (CET) in December 2008.
The Community Engagement Team, set up by The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Council in 2008, acts as a medium through which the Council organises and delivers its community engagement initiatives.
The Community Engagement Team is a small, core team working with groups across the Council. It exists to:
• Provide strategic and practical advice on community engagement to the Council.
• Strengthen links with communities and the third sector.
• Better co-ordinate and promote best practice across the Council to reduce duplication and maximise opportunities for local people.
• Support the Kensington and Chelsea Partnership in delivering the aims of the new community strategy.
The team develops policies, co-ordinates activities, works within communities and supports key projects to deliver better community engagement. The work of the team includes:
• Developing a strategic approach to community engagement for the Council and its partners such as the police and health bodies.
• Leading the Council’s effort to introduce a new equalities framework and the delivery of the equality action plan organising a series of seminars, briefings, and events including an Annual Lecture and Forum.
• Providing advice to the borough’s 400 tenant and resident associations, including a Gold Standards scheme to recognise and reward excellence in representation of residents and tenants.
• Supporting the Local Involvement Network (LINk) to involve people in influencing health and social care decisions.
• Working with the Forum of Faiths to strengthen partnership in working across faith communities in the borough.
• Supporting councillor involvement with communities through a Borough Community Relations Advisory Group (BCRAG) and by engaging them in overview and scrutiny equality reviews.
The Community Engagement Team continues its work today and is the key logistical tool of the Council for all its community engagement initiatives. It currently works on the following:
• The ‘City Living, Local Life’ programme provides support and micro-funding for local citizens’ initiatives that develop practical solutions for local problems.
• The Gold Standard Award scheme provides grants of up to £500 to resident associations that excel in their work.
• Maintains a dialogue with citizens who are ‘on the ground’; Training is given to community evaluators who raise concerns with the council and resident reviewers act as mystery shoppers in the local area.
• Runs regular consultations with citizens.
The original article was submitted by Stephen Morgan.
Stephen Morgan, Community Engagement Manager Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Community Engagement Team (CET) 2-4 Malton Road London W10 5UP.
firstname.lastname@example.org 020 7854 5852.
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