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A community in profile

NLPG Exemplar Award Highly commended – Most creative use 2008: Chorley Council.

The combination of commercially available lifestyle data with the council’s own property gazetteer, gave Chorley Council a detailed knowledge base on which they were able to build and deliver a programme of multi agency activities, tailored to meet the specific needs of individuals and communities.

‘Week of Action’ saw the co-ordination and delivery of services and interventions from more than 30 partner agencies, including requests to the fire service for smoke alarms, administration of flu jabs by the Prime Care Trust (PCT), enhancement to community environments and improved access to council services. The pilot project was deemed so successful that funding has already been secured for a further three weeks of action.

Outcomes

Chorley Borough Council’s combined lifestyle data, including significant cultural factors such as socio-demographics, culture, family structure, likely spending power and behaviour, with their NLPG in order to build a profile of the borough. When mapped, using the councils Geographic Information System (GIS), individual profiles could be developed highlighting communities that fell into the 20% most deprived, nationally.

In addition, the lifestyle / address linked data enabled the authority to build up an understanding of the issues and problems affecting each neighbourhood and, importantly, identify those that suffer a disproportionate amount of harm due to the disadvantages they face. Not all areas face the same challenges; some may have issues with health, while other areas may be affected more heavily by crime, or by lack of access to, or knowledge of, available services.

The profiles and understanding gained from the cross referenced data was used to underpin a programme of location based, multi agency services and interventions designed to address the cross cutting issues faced by the affected communities. With support from more than thirty partner organisations, including Lancashire County Council, the fire and rescue service, police, PCT, Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) and housing associations, ‘Week of Action’ delivered specific, tailored activities to tackle the issues underpinned by the area profiles.

‘Week of Action’ aimed to reduce incidences of crime, improve the feeling of safety, increase the number of residents accessing council services and deliver customised programmes of activity to vulnerable and hard to reach communities. The programme also enabled the council to work towards improving opportunities and life chances, removing inequality and reducing the number of areas that fall into the 20% most deprived nationally.

During the week, communities targeted by the programme of activities were offered free home fire safety checks; general environmental clean ups, including removal of graffiti, litter, and free skip days for disposal of bulky items; targeted crime and disorder reduction activities; and direct access to services such as health checks and advice, education and training, adult learning, benefits and housing advice, crime prevention and property marking kits.

Following on from ‘ Week of Action’ further initiatives have taken place including 150 requests to the Fire Service for fitting smoke alarms, 40 flu jabs administered by the PCT and more joint working between council departments and partner organisations. In addition the programme’s success has also been used to secure funding for a further three weeks of action and will be featured in the council’s beacon status bid.

Key benefits

  • Improving opportunity and life chances for some of the most deprived and disadvantaged groups within the Borough of Chorley and working towards equal access to public services for all residents.
  • Direct connection with communities including measurable improvements in access to essential council services, take up of frontline benefits offered by partner organisations and new working practices.
  • Delivery of council priorities through targeted use of resources achieving knock on efficiencies through single point contact with residents and inter departmental communication.
  • Joined up working between more than 30 partner organisations both for the duration of the pilot and post project to establish new working practices and agency co-operations.
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