This in from the town clerk for Ventnor Town Council, David Bartlett, in his own words. Ed
Ventnor Town Council was told this week that its application to be one of the 160 areas in the country involved in the next stage of the Department for Communities & Local Government’s Our Place! programme has been accepted.
Our Place! (the ‘!’ is part of the brand) is the second stage of a DCLG programme originally run as 12 pilots under the heading Neighbourhood Community Budgets. Two of the pilots were Town Councils.
This second stage involves the roll out of the approach deployed by the pilots, enhanced by their experience, through the involvement of a further 160 areas supported by a £4.3M budget providing a combination of funding and consultancy to the selected areas.
Help with Operational Plan
These areas will each commit to the production of an Operational Plan by 31 March 2015 to address the challenges their areas are facing. Ventnor’s Mayor Steve Stubbings and Town Clerk David Bartlett attended a DCLG seminar on the programme in Birmingham last September and expressed an interested in the town joining the programme.
That interest was progressed in a visit to Ventnor to meet with the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and staff team by the programme’s DCLG lead officer, Camilla Sheldon, and her colleague Jennifer Craft on 23 January.
Grant and support
Our application process for this stage of the programme was submitted on Friday 17 February and its acceptance was confirmed in an email this week.
That comes with a grant of £3,000 and the fully funded support of both a Relationship Manager – the link between us and the DCLG – and a consultant for assistance with the production of a Development Plan by 9 May on the basis of which the 160 will be reduced to 120 to go the full distance and produce an Operational Plan for the area by 31 March next year.
The core of the programme is the active engagement of all the Agencies active in the town and its communities in the identification of priorities and identifying the available resources to achieve the programme’s outcomes. Further funding is available as the programme proceeds.
More information about Our Place! is available online