Update on Sustainable Community Strategy - Levers for Change

22 December 2011

The LSP has agreed a set of 8 priority areas from the SCS .

Archived press release

Short-term (1 – 2 years) action plans are being developed to focus initial attention and harness cross-partner energy on these 8 areas, which were subject to consultation during the period November 2010 to January 2011, including:
- public engagement in Broad Street
- discussion and voting by delegates at the LSP Forum November 2010
- employee engagement in LSP partner organisations
- libraries, leisure centres and other public venues
- an online survey

In total nearly 1200 responses were received, ranking the areas in order of priority.

Some of these deal with very broad-ranging and deep-seated issues (breaking the cycle of poverty, capable communities etc) while others are more specific and focussed (eg promoting renewable energy via installation of PV panels).

The action plans do not pretend to deal with all of the issues needed to achieve the long term goals; their aim is to generate some momentum by acting as “levers for change”. As an aid to clear communication about these 8 plans a one page summary has been produced (on the attached  link  http://www.reading2020.org.uk/library/public/file104/ )

A snapshot of progress includes:
- Breaking the cycle of poverty: the work to remodel Children’s Centres has enabled RBC to get through to the last 17 in the NESTA Creative Council’s programme, gaining national recognition for the innovative and transformative work being undertaken; use of Performance Reward Grant (PRG) from the LAA process to boost Family Support services is in progress.
- Capable Communities: the transformation of adult social care is being used as the catalyst for activity here, led by Housing & Community Care
- Renewable Energy: the use of £0.5m PRG Capital money for investment in solar panels is proceeding, in spite of the recently announced reduction in Feed-in Tariffs which will affect other strands of investment that were planned.
- Skills for all: the success of the “100 in 100” apprenticeships programme, the successful bid to establish a Thames Valley Berkshire LEP and engaging business through a Skills Summit are all signs of progress in a challenging economic climate
- Fasttrack 2020: securing £4.9m investment from the Local Sustainable Transport Fund will secure improvements for cyclists, bus passengers and pedestrians, and the larger bid of £24.2m is progressing to the next stage following approval to do so from DfT in early August.
- High speed broadband: we hope to secure funding via the Government’s £530m programme to upgrade Britain’s broadband network.


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