Communities and Services

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Our approach as a community leader and service provider

In our role as a community leader the Council will strive to provide strong, open and visible leadership that champions equal opportunities and challenges prejudice and inequality.

The Council will lead a joined up approach to ensure everyone can have their say and take part in St Albans City and District. By bringing together work on equality of opportunity, developing stronger communities and community engagement we will increase the opportunities for the people who live, work and visit the area to inform decision making and get involved in community life.

As a service provider the Council intends to give communities more powers, encourage people to take an active role in their communities, reduce bureaucracy, and support a thriving voluntary and community sector. We will work across all of our services to ensure equality is built into decision making and operational procedures, including those commissioned from external organisations.

Understanding our communities

The Council uses a number of methods to understand the needs of the communities across the District. We have:

  • Developed comprehensive local community profiles and ward profiles to give a better understanding of the local communities that we serve and support
  • Utilised countywide information systems that provide information on our super-output areas
  • Reviewed neighbourhood statistics collected by national agencies
  • Undertaken community surveys to examine residents’ views and perceptions towards their local area as a place to live, their Council and the local public services it provides

Influencing decision making and delivering services

By understanding our communities and their needs the Council is able to use a strong evidence base to develop key strategies and policies, shape services and influence decision making.

The Council has utilised its understanding of the District to develop key strategies such as the Sustainable Community Strategy and the Inclusion Strategy.

The Inclusion Strategy has been developed so that the Council and its partners are clear as to what needs to be done to address inequalities across the District. It sets out the Council’s equality objectives, outlines how local groups representing specific parts of the community can get involved and provides ways for local people to hold the Council and its partners to account.

The profile of local communities and equality issues are a key consideration in developing our services and policies. Community impact assessments are completed early on in setting up and managing all service and policy development projects to ensure that the needs of all sections of our community are considered and that we do not inadvertently disadvantage anyone.

These community impact assessments will also provide information to support  member level decisions by highlighting any positive and negative impacts that need to be considered.

Date of last review: 29 October 2013