Ideas about how to fix local problems
Our Place! helps residents work together with councillors, service providers, businesses and voluntary and community organisers to solve local problems and improve local services. Our Place! ensures that public money is being spent in the ways local people want. It enables people to take ownership and responsibility for their area, creating positive changes. It could be used to address health problems, tackle anti-social behaviour, improve the local environment, raise skill levels or whatever else matters to local people.
Step 1: identify the problem you want to solve and bring people together
What do you want to achieve? Who has an interest in the problem? Think more widely than public services: what about businesses, voluntary groups and faith organisations. What are they already trying? Why isn’t it solving your problems?
Step 2: work together to agree your vision and to develop a plan to bring it to life
Starting with a powerful and clear vision means people are more likely to get behind it. Maintain their enthusiasm by sharing information and reporting back on results regularly.
Step 3: sign up to the Our Place! programme to find out what advice and/or funding is available
Advice and support is available from government and from those who are already working in the Our Place! way. The Our Place funding programme opened on the 20 January 2014.
For more information visit the national Our Place website.
Step 4: put your plan into practice
Residents of Haverhill, Suffolk, were concerned about levels of youth unemployment. Through the Our Place! approach they brought local businesses, colleges and schools together with the local chamber of commerce to ensure that school leavers were equipped with the skills which local businesses needed. Government funding paid for a youth skills worker to co-ordinate an ambitious programme of work experience, apprenticeships and careers advice to help local young people get a foot on the jobs ladder and raise their aspirations.
Sarah Howard, Vice Chair, One Haverhill Suffolk Chamber of Commerce "By bringing business, community and voluntary organisations and the public sector together we are making progress on what’s needed for our town."
Cllr Ron Ley Illfracombe Town Council "We were fed up of thinking of ourselves as victims and holding out the begging bowl – so we decided to manage our town for ourselves."