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Projects aiming to bring the Council closer to communities outlined

29 June 2023

Plans to move decisions and services as close as possible to local people and communities are set to be discussed by members of Cambridgeshire County Council’s Communities, Social Mobility and Inclusion committee (CoSMIC) on 6 July.

As well as being invited to endorse the approach to the council’s ‘decentralisation’ agenda – which aims to move power and decision making as close as possible to local people, Members of the committee will consider a number of pilot projects to be delivered over the next two years which aim to test and evaluate this approach.

The pilot projects have been chosen for their ability to support people through the current cost of living crisis, speed up community-led work on climate change, help build resilient local economies and deliver ‘integrated neighbourhoods’ where public services combine to focus on a small number of key health and well-being outcomes.

They include smaller scale projects which can be delivered quickly like Child and Family Centres engaging local communities in climate action or helping to map ownership of streetlights to improve fault reporting. There are also larger and more strategic projects such as using the county’s libraries as the front door for a wider range of council services, including public health, climate advice and support and children’s and family facilities – and the services of its public sector partners.

“As well as delivering on our joint administration promise to bring the council closer to communities, the range of projects we will be discussing are all firmly designed to help us achieve our vision to make Cambridgeshire greener, fairer and more caring,” said Cllr Tom Sanderson, Chair of CoSMIC.

“They will also be supported by a new assets strategy which aims to bring more of our customer-facing services together in libraries, making it easier for residents to find what they need first time. This will help us to rationalise several other offices or buildings used largely for training and support services across the county’s towns and cities - which are in varying states of repair and very energy inefficient.”

The report also outlines how the projects will also be supported by a new participation strategy - spelling out the council’s approach to public engagement and making decisions by consensus, and the work of the council’s newly restructured communities service – who will focus on supporting the projects.

The Committee meets at 2pm on 6 July at the council’s New Shire Hall headquarters, but the full meeting can be followed live on the council’s YouTube channel.