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The development of Hull‟s Community Strategy

Findings from Hull Community Network workshops held during July, 2005

Hull Community Network is supported by Hull CVS and funded through the Government’s Single Community Programme
Registered in England No. 1570120 Registered Charity No. 514311


Page 1. Introduction 3


About Hull Community Network



The Challenge



Our Approach



Findings – What is Hull for and what are the cities key strengths?



Threats to Future Developments



Emerging Priorities





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Hull Community Network supports the participation of the voluntary and community sector in decision – making for the City through the work of City vision, Hull’s Local Strategic Partnership (LSP). The Network is committed to playing a positive and active role in the work of Cityvision and sees the Community Strategy as the key driver of change to transform the City, based on an agreed vision and set of actions to which all partners can contribute. To contribute to the development of the Community Strategy and ‘aerate the ground’ the Network commenced a debate to discuss Hull’s unique strengths and what the City should look like in 2020 (‘What’s Hullish About Hull’). Over recent months the Network has continued the debate and ensured that the views of voluntary and community groups are continually fed in to the Strategy’s development. In July, 2005 two Network Forum’s were held to debate the priorities for the City and to consider what Hull would look like in 2020. 2. About Hull Community Network Hull Community Network is funded through the Government’s Single Community Programme. It has four objectives:  To set up and maintain a Community Empowerment Network to engage in the LSP as an independent and equal partner;  To support the community involvement in neighbourhood level partnerships;  To support the development of active and resourceful communities through the provision of small grants;  To support community learning to ensure residents can acquire skills and knowledge to engage in neighbourhood renewal through small grants and learning strategies. Membership of the Network is free and open to all voluntary and Community groups in the City. Over 850 voluntary and groups are currently members of the Network. The Network is a ‘network of networks’ and embraces key voluntary sector infrastructure bodies in the City (e.g. Hull CVS, North Bank Forum, Humberside Learning Consortium, Hull DOC, HANWAG communities of interest networks (covering black and minority ethnic groups, faith communities, older and younger people, people with disabilities); and geographically based community groups. Through our members we reach out to all sections of the community, particularly those who are not normally part of strategic debates on the future of the City The Network engages with its members through a variety of means


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4 SHAPING THE FUTURE OF HULL such as our website, our quarterly newsletter (‘Network News’) and our bi-monthly Network Forums. Special workshops and events are also held with specific interest groups. The Network is run by an elected Steering Group which meets monthly and our accountable body is Hull CVS. Our work is fully supported by Government Office for Yorkshire and the Humber. The Network organises annual elections of representatives of the sector to the Cityvision Board and the eight Sub-Boards. These representatives are the primary means of communication between members of Cityvision and the wider community and voluntary sector and they bring a wealth of skills and experience to Cityvision. The Community Network is also supporting the participation of voluntary and community groups in the work of the seven Area Partnerships. Through the Hull Community Investment Fund, Hull Community Network also provides small grants of between £50 and £5,000 to support and stimulate small-scale, self help community activities, so that more people become involved in the regeneration of their communities. Finally the Network provides a range of learning opportunities for its members to participate in decision-making and regeneration and renewal debates. Examples are training for the Network’s elected representatives on Cityvision, and courses such as ‘How Your City Works’, and the Community Facilitators Training open to residents and workers in the voluntary and community sector. 3. The Challenges Hull faces a number of challenges which the Community Strategy must address. Some are the key challenges we wish to highlight are:    unemployment is nearly twice the national average 41.2% of people aged 16-74 have no qualifications and a third of residents are illiterate or innumerate two thirds of household’s have annual incomes of less than £15,000

4. Our Approach ____________________________________________________________________________ 4


4.1 At a Network Forum meeting held on 10 May 2005, members discussed the following quote made by Kim Ryley, Chief Executive of the City Council in March 2005. “….there is still not perhaps a single shared view about what Hull should become, what the City should be, what its great strengths and unique elements are, and how we can build-on and develop them” 4.2 Members looked at three questions this quote posed:    What are the unique things and strengths that make Hull special (what is Hullish about Hull)? What are your views on what Hull should become by 2020? If there was one thing we could do tomorrow to change Hull what would it be?

4.3 It soon became clear that these questions generated an enormous amount of interest and discussion. To continue the debate four workshops were then held across the City on 8 June 2005. Questionaires were also circulated for people to return based on these three questions. The workshops and questionnaire revealed a rich and varied source of information and views that is documented in the „Whats Hullish About Hull‟ report. Copies can be obtained from Hull Community Network. 4.4 To provide further opportunities to develop the strategy, debate ideas and priorities a Network Forum took place 18 July 2005. To maximise access to the Forum two events took place, one in the afternoon and one early evening. 4.5 To develop Hull Community Network’s vision for Hull in 2020 members considered:    Hull’s key strengths and specialisms Emerging issues and themes A vision for Hull

4.6 The workshops revealed a diverse range of ideas and views. A number of common themes emerged that build on previous debates and discussions.

5. The Findings ____________________________________________________________________________ 5


5.1 Some 43 individuals attended the workshops from a cross range of groups and organisations. A comprehensive list of those groups and organisations represented can be found in the appendix. What is Hull for? 5.2 The vast majority of attendees felt that “Hull is of us and for us; it is for us to give life to and to have our lives enhanced by. Our work, our learning, our health, our housing, our safety, our wellbeing are all only two dimensional if they do not enable us to be and to contribute to ourselves.” What are Hull‟s key strengths and specialisms? 5.3 Hull has a rich history with many noteworthy icons including William Wilberforce and Phillip Larkin. We have been known throughout history for producing pioneers and individuals who achieve against all the odds. “Hull has spawned freedom givers (William Wilberforce) and freedom lovers (Amy Johnson)” 5.4 Our creative strengths have shone through over the years with evidence of good creative sub groups still inexistence. Examples of those achieving in the arts include Beautiful South and the playwrite John Godber and film director Damien Mc Allister. 5.5 Hull has more recently been the home to artists in words and pictures; to new theatre, technical related arts, a ‘CHAV’ boys dance group and to a myriad of small artists. We need to build on our creativity and recognise our strengths in his area. 5.6 The people of Hull are perceived as a significant asset to its future with a strong sense of community. Hull has “good lively, vibrant communities” that have developed a number of well developed community organisations. 5.7 Hull was described by a number of participants as a city that has a unique location. It is the Gateway to Europe with an expanding port and a city with potential. It has some large well established employers including Reckitt’s, Smith and Nephew and BP. Alongside this is the emerging economy through the creative sub groups and the development of a café culture with more small independent traders. 5.8 One of the strengths of the city is the changing demographics with a young population and the emerging multiculturalism that is currently evident. 5.9 There are a number of physical landmarks within the city; those highlighted included The Deep, Humber Bridge, Ports, Tidal Barrier KC Stadium and Island ____________________________________________________________________________ 6

7 SHAPING THE FUTURE OF HULL Wharf. Other assets of the city were felt to be with the large number of older buildings that are often not perceived as a strength or selling point for Hull. 5.10 Areas of specialisms were thought to be with the Colleges and Universities within the city. It was felt that both had good reputations and a significant number of achievements that are an asset and strength for Hull, but needs to be perceived to be more open to the public of Hull. “Hull is an interesting city without the urban sprawl” 6. Threats to Future Developments During the workshops concerns were highlighted that may impact on future developments and require acknowledgement and attention. Concerns that primarily focused on three areas, of the economy, learning and young people. 6.2 When considering the economy it needs to be recognised that there has been a decline in traditional industries and as a result a proportion of people have low self esteem. It was suggested that in some cases almost two generations have been lost and therefore much work will need to take place to re-engage this group. 6.3 It was felt that in the past we have not invested in locally grown ideas. Examples given were social entrepreneurs who through a lack of investment often left the city one example given was Gadget Shop. Participants felt they should be seen as an asset to the city and encouraged to stay by investing in their ideas. 6.4 We do not appear to use local people enough to work in our communities. It was suggested that by bringing people in from other areas local people become disillusioned and leave. We should consider learning from else where in the country and encourage a ‘grow your own culture’. 6.5 There is concern that the primary source of funding for training comes from the Learning and Skills Council. The LSC’s current focus is the 16 -19 age group, concern has been raised that adult learning will be forgotten at a time when locally there is a growing need for it. Given there is a need across all age groups to gain skills and engage in learning, a refocus of priorities to meet the City’s needs will need to be considered. 6.6 It is imperative that we listen to young people and involve them in our communities. Concern was expressed that if we continue to have knee-jerk reactions to problems within the City we will never manage the problems. An example given was young people and antisocial behaviour and the recent issues highlighted in Queens Gardens. Genuine concern was expressed that if we do not listen to young people we will alienate them rather than include them.

7 Emerging Priorities ____________________________________________________________________________ 7


7.1 The priorities are in five areas of:      Economy Education and Skills Quality of Life Culture Environment

7.2 Economy Most people concentrated on the following developments of :        maximising the potential of the ports creating better links with Europe develop the tourism industry improving the environment and the economic environment maximise the potential of the waterfront in the City support entrepreneurial spirit develop a secondary economy – shopping facilities in areas of Holderness Road, Anlaby Road and Hessle Road

To develop the economy, Hull’s strengths and assets need to be recognised in terms of the people, buildings and location. Hull has much to build upon. When developing the local economy there are a number of factors that need to be considered. The following are important points to consider:     better employment opportunities for young people everyone paid accordingly/decent salaries better opportunities in order to retain talent recognition of the community and voluntary sector and their role in maximising the potential of local people

7.3 Education and Skills Developing and improving education and skills in the City was seen as an essential component to Hull’s future. It will require radical solutions and creativity. Improving education and skills for all ages was perceived to be paramount requiring choice, opportunity and promotion. The latter was advocated to promote the positive aspects of learning. Encouraging creativity is perceived as essential to developing and maximising the creative culture that exists within the City. Cultural development was high on the agenda of a number of those participating in the workshops. The resourcing of community learning was highlighted as an area that needs attention and consideration if we are to address local training needs. Much of the funding for community learning is under constant review. Given that the current ____________________________________________________________________________ 8

9 SHAPING THE FUTURE OF HULL focus of the LSC is the 16-19 age groups, funding for adult community learning will be low on their agenda. Family learning and support was mentioned and advocated. There needs to be recognition in terms of the role of the community and voluntary sector in providing first rung and accredited training and family support within the City. 7.3 Quality of Life “If we are to improve the quality of life for local people, „time and „space‟ to reflect, learn, grow and be creative will be essential” Creating space was raised in most workshops when discussing the future of Hull. Space to develop aspirations, swap low self esteem for confidence and provide opportunity to unleash potential and creativity. If we are to move from dependence to interdependence, space to talk, reflect, learn and grow will be paramount to our future. Examples where individuals have been given space and time to develop were given by workshop participants. These were positive examples of life changes that occurred through self expression activities involving creative activities involving art, drama and music. As one person summarised; “from spaces, grows learning, creativity, confidence, ideas and then maybe the development of business‟s and the economy” Developing a Community Strategy for Hull is seen as a real opportunity to develop actions that will address the needs of the citizens of the city. It is an opportunity for Hull to continue to be unique and be different to other cities. Ideas for improving the quality of life for local people includes areas of:      citizenship health housing crime culture

7.5 Citizenship The development of the citizenship agenda is often perceived to be focused on young people however participants felt this agenda should include the adult population. The idea for a citizenship charter involving all the citizens of Hull in it’s development was muted. This idea received support however it was felt that any such development would need to be monitored and evaluated to ensure of inclusion for all. Recognition, support and funding for local involvement in volunteering and community action is essential. ____________________________________________________________________________ 9

10 SHAPING THE FUTURE OF HULL 7.5 Health Improving the health and social wellbeing of local people by addressing areas of obesity and mental health. Good quality mental health services were advocated with support for the setting up and funding of self help groups. A number of self help groups struggle for funding despite receiving a number of referrals from all sectors. 7.7 Housing A greater mix of housing should be developed in the future with good quality housing for all. This includes social housing and affordable homes to meet the needs of the city. One group suggested the remodelling of communities with a mix of housing and people. Important priority areas of crime to address are antisocial behaviour, substance and alcohol misuse. Making the city centre and local areas a safer place to live and work is perceived as essential to making Hull an attractive city to live, work and play. 7.6 Culture Developing the arts and the creativity of local people was mentioned in all workshops. Access to cultural activities for all age groups could provide the citizens of Hull access to new avenues unleash the creativity for many and build on where it already exists. Cultural activities which shape the feel and physical appearance of Hull could include: public art projects, collaborations between architects and artists and collaborations between artists and the communities. More venues for new bands and exhibitions could potentially keep talent within the city and provide opportunities for emerging musicians and artists. Using the arts to engage all ages in local developments is perceived as a positive way of encouraging people in community life. It can bring all ages together in a non threatening way, develop understanding where there are difficulties and provide opportunities to work together. This could be an opportunity to celebrate our talents and achieved by providing local festivals, exhibitions, street artists and events. More funding would need to be secured to develop the hive of underground creativity that exists and to develop new talent in the city.

7.4 The Environment

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11 SHAPING THE FUTURE OF HULL The discussions on the environment focused on many differing aspects from developing more green spaces to the creation of physical space for local people to reflect and learn. Improving the visual environment of the city is important and included the upgrade of a new and dynamic city centre that is attractive to its citizens and the emerging tourists city centre upgrade of the city centre. Another is to clean the streets of litter and rubbish in order to improve the image of the city, attract more visitors and encourage more pride within our communities More green spaces with was advocated so that the people of Hull had more Space to think and be creative. Space for young people to learn and reflect in their own communities, places that are safe and where they are not perceived as a threat. The development of an environmental economy, creating employment whilst improving the environment and encouraging a more environmentally friendly city. 8 Conclusions 8.1 This report presents a vision of Hull and a series of emerging themes and priorities which residents believe are important and relevant to the future of Hull. 8.2 Local residents want to be involved in the development of the future of the city and the emerging Community Strategy. They welcome the opportunity to reflect on the past, to learn from this and consider the future of Hull. 8.3 Residents and the community and voluntary sector welcome the opportunity to work in partnership to address the issues the city currently faces. It is imperative that the role of the community and voluntary sector is both recognised and valued by all partners. 8.4 It was clearly evident in the workshops that the Community Strategy needs to be specific to Hull and reflect the needs and the flavour of the city. 8.5 Hull Community Network looks forward to working closely with the City Council and Cityvision in developing the next stages of the consultation and on developing the detail of the Community Strategy.


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12 SHAPING THE FUTURE OF HULL Workshop Representation A number of individuals attending where from both community and voluntary sector groups and organisations, these included;                        Shopmobility Art-link Hull Community Network Reps Hull Community Network Steering Group PPI Forum (Public Patient Involvement) Hull CVS Hull Citizens Advice Bureau Newland Residents Association Sure Start NW Westbourne East Plus New Life Christian Centre Sydney Smith School Big Band Productions Hull and East Yorkshire Mind Centre 88 Axiomatic Samaritans Hessle Road Network Blues Busters PRNDC (Preston Road New Deal for Communities) St Michaels (Orchard Park) Hull Federation of Community Organisations

Number attending 43 Females 27 Males 16

Monitoring Forms Completed 18 Of these; Female 7 Male 11 16 1 1 4 5 9 4

White British White European Black Caribbean Registered Disabled aged 26-40 years aged 41-59 aged 60 or above

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