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					                  OVERVIEW OF THE PLACES PROGRAMME

Enhancing and protecting places which people value and in which they
can prosper

1. INTRODUCTION
This block encompasses those services and activities which contribute
directly to place shaping by promoting economic growth, improving essential
infrastructure, sustaining environmental quality and securing community
safety.
2. VISION
Through a transformed local government, to shape and maintain prosperous,
healthy, clean, green and safe cities, towns, villages and neighbourhoods in
which the residents, workforce and visitors of east and west Cheshire are
proud, and where business wants to invest, by:
        Driving economic growth and sustained investment at the regional,
         sub-regional and local level
        Ensuring that everyone can share in success and no-one is
         disadvantaged by where they live
        Giving people in local communities power and influence to shape the
         places in which they live
        Enabling people and places to realise their full potential
        Putting community safety and a healthy environment at the heart of the
         place shaping role
        Giving everyone access to a decent affordable home
        Creating and maintaining a public realm of which people are proud
        Tackling the challenge of climate change


3. OUTCOMES
The key outcomes which will be delivered include:

Ref      National Outcomes

8        Decent homes for all.

9        Improved air quality.

10       Reduced greenhouse gases and CO2 emissions.

11       Reduced overall waste production.

12       Reduced level of waste going to landfill




                                         -1-
13     Cleaner neighbourhoods

14     Convenient, safe, accessible transport for all.

15     Improved economic performance

16     Reduced worklessness

17     Reduced Crime

18     Reduced fear of Crime

23     Improved residents‟ satisfaction with their area as a place to live



Ref    LAA Targets

1.2    Increased cleanliness and quality of public spaces in Blacon and Lache
       NMP areas

1.3    Improved housing

3.1    Cleaner, greener and safer public spaces

3.2    Increase domestic fire safety and reduce arson

3.3    Build “Respect” in communities and reduce anti-social behaviour

3.4    Reduce the level of homelessness and rough sleeping

3.6    Increasing safety from domestic abuse

4.1    Reduce crime

4.2    Reduce the harm caused by illegal drugs

4.3    Reassure the public, reducing the fear of crime

6.1    Enhance the visitor economy

6.2    Develop the quality of visitor experience

10.1   Promote enterprise and entrepreneurial activity including social
       enterprise particularly in underperforming communities

10.2   Ensure that economic success is spread throughout Cheshire‟s urban
       & rural communities

11.1   Reduce crime and disorder levels.




                                       -2-
12.1   Reduction in tonnage of Carbon Dioxide emissions

13.1   As part of an overall housing strategy ensure that all RSL owned social
       housing is made decent by 2010, as part of the Decent Homes
       programme.

13.2   Improving housing standards in Cheshire

13.3   Increase the provision of housing with support and move-on
       accommodation for vulnerable adults, young people and those with
       chaotic lifestyles

13.4   Reducing homelessness

13.5   Provide more appropriate and affordable housing in both rural and
       urban areas to meet identified need.

15.1   Close the worklessness gap between the worst wards in Cheshire and
       the English average

4. SCOPE
Driving forward economic development, creating prosperous places where
people want to live and invest, and spreading the benefits of success are
priorities for central government, regional agencies, Local Authorities and
communities across East and West Cheshire.
The key to achieving this is taking a fully rounded view of places; developing
and diversifying the economic base; getting people into work; providing a
decent choice of housing for all; putting in place essential infrastructure;
investing in and maintaining the public realm; protecting and enhancing the
environment; reducing crime and fear of crime; and tackling deprivation at
community and neighbourhood level.
This will only succeed if people can influence and shape the way the places
they care deeply about are developed and maintained into the future.
Creating two new unitary authorities will bring together all of those services
which collectively contribute towards making and managing better places.
These include:
   Economic Development
   Housing services
   Planning
       o Preparation of Local Development Framework
       o Regional Spatial Strategy
       o Waste and Minerals Planning
   Highways, Roads and transportation
       o Maintenance and street services



                                       -3-
       o Parking
   Environmental Services
       o Street cleaning and waste
       o Air quality
       o Environmental Health
       o Climate change
   Community safety;
       o Fire service


5. CHALLENGES
Context
The most effective interventions to shape successful places happen at the
geographical level where economies operate and to which people relate in
their day to day lives.
To best deliver economic growth, environmental improvement, and safer
communities we need to understand where people live, how goods get to
market, how people get to work and what their hopes and fears are for their
cities, towns, villages and neighbourhoods. We need to appreciate that, on
the whole, whilst economies are becoming increasingly global, peoples‟ daily
lives are focused on relatively small areas.
Most patterns of living do not fit neatly into administrative areas and this
disparity between economic place and governance arrangements manifests
itself starkly in Cheshire.
The current county in economic, social and environmental terms is not a
single entity. The fortunes of its constituent areas are inextricably bound up
with areas beyond its boundaries, and the County is clearly divided into east
and west.
“The Cheshire sub-region does not function as a single integrated economic
entity but is best characterised by a number of areas, variously linked to
Manchester, Merseyside North Wales and the midlands, within which the
most dynamic is Chester. Chester has important sub-regional functions in its
own right which offers an alternative base for key firms who might otherwise
be lost to the region or the UK as a whole…..There is a need to develop a
different mental map of the region’s economy.” (Strengthening the Evidence base
of Key Economic and Spatial Strategies in the North West – NWDA September 2006)
The east of the County (Macclesfield, Congleton, Crewe) lies significantly
within the footprint of the Manchester City Region (MCR) (and to a lesser
extent the Potteries) and has limited economic independence. Evidence
demonstrates that east Cheshire is an integral part of the MCR housing
market, its retail/leisure catchments and travel to work area.
This interdependency between East Cheshire and MCR is recognised in
regional policy (RSS and RES), the Cheshire Warrington Economic
Development Strategy (which divides the County into separate areas) and the


                                       -4-
Manchester City Region Development Plan, whose shared objectives for the
future of this part of the County are about sustaining the quality of the
environment, supporting local housing and employment needs, and
maintaining the vitality of small market towns, but not upon significant growth
or transformation. Manchester will be the focus for that.
The Chester and West Cheshire area is very different. The Districts of
Chester Ellesmere Port and Neston, and Vale Royal all connect with the
Liverpool City Region. But, taken together with North East Wales they form a
powerful and relatively self contained sub-region in their own right, recognised
in regional policy for the North West of England and Wales.
This reflects the success and influence of Chester as a sub-regional City hub,
at the centre of one of the fastest growing economies in the UK, with regional,
national and global significance; it is the locus for a clustering of major
employers in the service, and manufacturing sectors across a sub region that
goes beyond district, county and national boundaries. It has its own
distinctive housing and labour market, a highly self contained travel to work
area, with more than 70% of trips beginning and ending within its boundaries,
a cohesive labour market, and shared retail, leisure, tourism catchments.
In line with Regional Planning and Economic Policy, all of the local authorities
in the area are promoting continued growth and economic transformation, with
20,000 new jobs over the next 10 years. There is also a common focus on
area regeneration and tackling social exclusion, with twice as many SOA‟s in
most deprived 20% in Chester and West Cheshire than in the east.
Because of this, organisations in Cheshire have struggled to achieve “buy in”
and service transformation at most levels. For example the Cheshire
Warrington Economic Alliance, the Cheshire Waste Partnership and the LAA
process have not galvanised key agencies around a common agenda. Their
outputs are limited by the need for compromise. They become bland and
unrelated to place, diluted by the need to satisfy competing demands of
disparate interests, rather than being driven by the energy and enthusiasm
engendered by a unified sense of purpose.
By contrast, significant progress has been made in developing solutions to
common challenges on a cross boundary basis in the west of Cheshire, in the
context of the Liverpool City Region and the Mersey Dee Alliance. Housing,
labour market and accessibility studies have been jointly undertaken,
consolidated cross sub-regional action plans have been developed and over
£3m of projects have been implemented on the ground in urban and rural
communities through the LEADER+ and business employment support
schemes.
All this good work is carried out in spite of, not because of existing
governance arrangements which impede successful partnership and more
often than not undermine effective delivery.
As well as securing continued prosperity through investment and
development, it is essential that places continue to be cared for through
effective and accountable long term management and maintenance. At the
neighbourhood level Community Safety is the most important issue for
residents of West Cheshire & East Cheshire. Survey after survey from all


                                      -5-
agencies and across all sectors of our communities confirms this priority as
the „bedrock‟ for the successful delivery of all other programmes of activity.
Together with maintaining and enhancing environmental quality it is crucial to
making a positive impact on public satisfaction, creating liveable, prosperous
communities, enhancing pride in and image of place, and upholding the
reputation of the local authority and key partners as community leaders.
This drive for improved local community safety and environmental outcomes
will involve local people, individually and collectively, in shaping local
neighbourhoods and services. This will best be achieved by building on the
neighbourhood management approach to multi-agency service delivery in
West Cheshire has been developed under the successful DCLG-funded
pathfinder schemes in Blacon & Lache.
West Cheshire accounts for around 50% of the total recorded crime in the
County area and roughly half of each specific crime type too. Chester City,
Winsford and Ellesmere Port centres are hotspots for violent crime, much of
which is alcohol related.
West Cheshire is a safe place to live by any standards. Yet, despite the
continued downward trend in levels of crime, Fear of Crime remains
disproportionately high especially in disadvantaged neighbourhoods. This is a
major concern for us now and the two new authorities and their partners will
be able to focus on reassurance in local neighbourhoods to deliver
sustainable, cohesive communities where the need is greatest.
Waste management is split across 6 District Councils responsible for
Collection and the County Council for Disposal. This is a big impediment to
effective working which the two authorities will address. They will place this
within the context of their strategies for carbon neutrality and waste
minimisation while aiming for all disposal to be within their areas.


Key Challenges
   A whole place approach
We need to integrate policies and services delivering economic development,
regeneration, housing, community safety and environmental improvement, to
reflect the multi-faceted nature of our communities.
   Working for the real sub-region
       We need a planning system that can reflect a strategic vision and help
        realise the future potential of powerful economic sub-regions.
       We must be able to plan transport to reflect travel to work patterns and
        coordinated planning around connectivity and environmental
        sustainability
       We need to support and promote investment and economic growth
        within the economic footprint within which business operates.
       We need to plan for real housing markets, balancing low and high
        demand, and providing affordability, quality and choice for all
        throughout their lives


                                       -6-
      We need to manage our environmental assets sub-regionally, dealing
       with water resources, river catchments, landscapes and habitats as
       single contiguous systems
      We need to tackle serious crime at the City Regional and
       neighbourhood Level
      We need to integrate all aspects of the management of our waste, from
       collection and recycling to disposal, and help mitigate the substantial
       climate change impact from this activity.
      We need to forge MAA agreements based upon alliances which make
       sense, and which deliver real economic, social and environmental
       benefits regardless of administrative boundaries


Strong and Productive Partnership and Strategic leadership
      Local leaders must be able to form strong partnerships based upon
       shared priorities and mutual understanding. Where there is powerful
       sense of identity and a cohesive political culture, parochial rivalries will
       be set aside and all interventions will be perceived to be of mutual
       benefit.
      We need the right policy and governance architecture in place to make
       progress. In a two tier system, where leadership and priorities reflect
       the demands of a disparate County, the needs of real places are not
       met. There is a democratic deficit, remoteness and often a counter-
       productive compromise.
      Where governance arrangements match the market, public, private and
       3rd sector energy is harnessed at the point and level to which people
       relate.
      Businesses and voluntary organisations form networks that reflect local
       circumstances and that tackle their concerns locally and coherently.
      LSP‟s become more effective and responsive to community need.
       There is more scope to pooling resources and share services where
       agencies and customers see money spent “on their patch” and on their
       shared priorities.
Neighbourhood and local
      We need to role out the model of Neighbourhood Management across
       the new LA areas, building upon the highly successful DCLG funded
       NM pathfinder in Blacon – West Chester
Service and performance transformation
      We need to realise opportunities to rationalise and integrate services,
       removing duplication and waste, and provide single points of contact
       for customers to deal with any issue affecting the places where they
       live.




                                        -7-
      We need to establish unified performance management frameworks
       against which communities can measure progress with economic,
       environmental and social improvement.


6. MEETING THE CHALLENGE
The creation of unitary authorities for East and West Cheshire, based upon
real sub-regions will enable considerable improvement and innovation in the
delivery of services to promote continued sustainable prosperity, social
cohesion and environmental improvement. New approaches to housing,
planning, economic development, transport, community safety and
environmental services will be founded upon a combination of improved and
coherent strategic vision, neighbourhood focus, local accountability, and
ability to shape real places that people can relate to.
Service areas will be joined up to meet these core objectives in a way which
has proved impossible in the two tier system, with its confusing division of
responsibilities and a misalignment with real economic geography and place.
The two new LA‟s will be large enough to be strategic, providing a voice for
their communities at the regional level, whilst being close enough to people to
ensure that the needs of neighbourhoods and client groups are understood
and met.
Services will be configured around key service centres, the future of which
can be planned for through the Community Plan and LDF‟s. Area working will
be a key feature, with neighbourhood based capacity building, led by ward
members, to aid delivery. Rural issues will be addressed comprehensively
across a contiguous area, which contains a number of villages and market
towns with a common set of priorities
At the highest level the two new authorities will be better able to align their
policies and programmes with current regional, city regional and sub-regional
strategies.
MAAs will be developed with partners in the same sub regions. In Chester
and Cheshire West these will reflect sub-regional and city regional challenges.
They will emerge from existing cross border strategy and action plans and will
build upon a record of joint delivery of initiatives across the North East
Wales/Wirral/West Cheshire area, over the past 3 years.
As the second largest LA in the City Region and with an economic influence
that compares favourably to Liverpool City Centre, the West Cheshire
Authority will continue to be the economic driver for the southern half of the
Liverpool City Region.


7. SERVICE TRANSFORMATION AND IMPROVEMENT
Economic Development and Enterprise Services will be aligned to City
regional and sub-regional economic footprints.




                                      -8-
Rationalised sub-regional partnerships will require less support than the
existing networks. Economies of scale will be realised in the delivery and
brokerage of training and skills development.
Business support will be rationalised and delivered at a sub-regional level in a
way which better fits with revised national and regional approaches being
developed through Business Link, with full back up and support from the
Unitary Authorities, but removing current confusing duplication of functions at
regional, County and District Level.
Removing the duplication of County and District economic development will
also release capacity for more effective joint working at the city region and
sub-regional level and lead to savings of more than £700k per year.
An MAA would deliver cross boundary, multi agency ED services and in the
medium term there will be a real possibility of establishing a City Development
Company to deliver strategic ED across the southern part of Liverpool City
Region.
A more focused approach will be taken to place marketing and inward
investment, developing strong sub-regional brand/identities, linked to the
strategies being implemented through City Region Development Plans, and
significantly reducing costs of multiple campaigns
Property and business enquiry systems will be rationalised and savings made
by providing integrated systems in each market area.
The demands of business for skills and training will be better joined up with
the learning and employment agencies and education providers,
complementing work underway to develop City Region full employment
strategies.
Co-ordinated recruitment and aftercare will be provided at a level that the
market recognises and to which individual businesses respond. Already these
services are offered on an east/west Cheshire basis.
The supply of employment sites and buildings will be managed and planned
for on a strategic basis, avoiding current inter-locational competition, and
ensuring that a range of quality market-ready sites is made available to meet
the distinct sectoral requirements of the economic sub-region.
In Chester and Cheshire West there will be a unified and coherent focus on
tackling multiple deprivation, building upon the pioneering cross boundary
work of the Mersey Dee Alliance dealing with barriers to employment.
The new authorities will be local enough to ensure a bespoke approach to
meeting the needs of vulnerable people and disadvantaged neighbourhoods.
Community training initiatives and 3rd sector development will be targeted at
the specific needs of individuals and areas.
Enterprise promotion will be streamlined and strengthened by joining up to
create a virtual public service for the sub-region at the local level. Support will
be targeted at key local sectors with the potential to develop centres of
excellence and supply chain initiatives to meet the specific needs of key
employers.




                                        -9-
A joined up and more local focus will harness the energy of social enterprise
which will be developed at a neighbourhood level to deliver shared community
objectives.
Housing
The two authorities will deliver strategies to develop, improve and manage
housing, compatible with regionally recognised housing markets.
Two strategic housing authorities joined up with the other local authority
services (such as housing and economic development, property and social
services) and working across a recognised contiguous housing market area
will ensure no one is disadvantaged by where they live.
They with partners will balance housing supply more effectively to meet
economic and social needs in self contained market areas, complementing
strategies for the city regions.
This will enable a coherent approach to tackling disparities of low and high
demand, with supply to meet the pressing need for affordable housing being
complemented by area based regeneration. A full range and choice of
housing will be secured on a strategic basis, and in a way to which the market
is more likely to respond.
Consistent standards for decent homes will be established, which reflect the
needs of residents and the nature of the local housing stock.
Effective housing partnerships will be developed, with the authorities leading
the way in challenging partners to pool resources to mutual benefit, thus
removing needless competition between areas with different needs.
Housing investment will link to the wider regeneration agenda by co-ordinating
investment in public and private stock with improvements to the public realm
and associated social and economic infrastructure.
Better alignment of each authority and the health sector will reap significant
benefits, particularly in the more effective targeting of housing adaptations
through Disabled Facilities Grants.
The LA‟s will also take a more proactive lead in tackling some of the “wicked”
issues (such as homelessness and traveller provision), which often result in
avoidance or deferral, rather than solutions. They will take responsibility for
addressing problems within their own communities.
A single strategic housing partnership will replace current multiple
arrangements, with cheaper support infrastructure, a more co-ordinated
approach and more powerful voice for the housing market area.
The partnership in Chester with the fire service for private sector housing
inspection work can be applied across both areas.
A single housing agency agreement in each area will replace multiple
contracts and will deliver economies of scale as well as ensuring a consistent
approach to the roll out of choice based lettings, so options for social tenants
will mirror those of the private market; there will be a single housing register
and a co-ordinated homelessness service.




                                      - 10 -
Housing services will be delivered locally on the basis of in depth knowledge
of housing needs, closely linked to other quality of life issues such as health,
community safety and the environment.
Housing management will be delivered on a flexible and responsive basis,
maximising choice to residents. It will be a component of neighbourhood
management with a housing presence in all key localities.
Policies and programmes for the development, improvement and
management of homes will be community based and sensitive to the needs of
local people and places.
Engagement with private sector landlords and developers will take place in
the localities in which they operate.
Supported housing will be delivered more effectively through the joining up of
social services and housing providers at the local level. Clients will have one
point of contact and be treated with sensitivity and respect for their often long
standing connections to the places they live.
Vulnerable people will not be subject to remote bureaucratic decisions which
may uproot them from their home ground and disconnect them from their local
networks of friends and family.
Best practice in affordable housing provision will apply across the new areas.
The increased asset base of the new unitaries, together with the clustering of
a greater number of housing providers, will enable the development of Joint
Venture Development Companies, and new vehicles such as Real Estate
Investment Trusts to meet the needs for affordable homes across distinct
housing markets.
The two larger rural areas will have pooled resources to develop and sustain
a rural housing enabling role.
Planning
Strategic policy making will be streamlined by integrating Housing, Planning,
Economic Development and Transport Strategy both at the local level and
sub-regionally.
Instead of six LDFs there will be two. They will be developed to sustain and
shape real places. They will not begin and end at existing administrative
boundaries that ignore socio economic sub regions. The reduction of the
strategic planning functions of 7 authorities to 2 will lead to savings in the
region of £900k.
The LDFs for West and East Cheshire will allow the development of sub-
regional core strategies that give coherent local expression to the policies and
principles of RES, RHS, RSS and City Region Development Plans.
They will fit the existing sub-regional division of the North West region
established in draft RSS, and will enable planning to be aligned with economic
footprints, recognised housing markets, retail catchments and travel to work
areas.




                                       - 11 -
They will enable the results of cross boundary working (in the west with North
East Wales/Wirral and in the East with Manchester) to be developed and
translated into detailed policy at the more local level.
In each area there will be a proper framework for the whole of the contiguous
rural area currently split by district boundaries. A clear hierarchy of place can
be established with members leading the way in planning for their City, Market
town or villages in a co-ordinated way.
Constraints and policies which run counter to the interests of communities will
no longer be imposed because they do not fit with some county level
approach, designed to meet the needs of very different areas, such as
housing restraint imposed by Cheshire County Council that has led to
problems of affordability, undermined regeneration and stifled local
economies.
Investment and development priorities will be based on their contribution to
achieving a shared vision and complementary objectives, not on political
compromise or parochial competition.
In Chester City and West Cheshire there will be an even more focused
approach to urban regeneration, building upon the success to Chester‟s
recent urban renaissance, the Northwich Vision to bring back into use a high
proportion of brownfield and contaminated land.
Waste and minerals planning will be carried out at the appropriate sub-
regional level. The waste streams and the minerals supply chain largely
reflect the economic geography, with West Cheshire being closely connected
to North East Wales and the east to Manchester. Joint teams will be
established to tackle both issues on a proper cross boundary basis.
Forward planning resources will be pooled, and the costs of public inquiries,
legal fees, printing and publications, and research/monitoring will be reduced.
In the medium term there will be scope for further efficiencies through the
sharing of these strategic functions with unitary authorities across the City
Regions through MAAs.
LDF‟s will be aligned with community plans and developed from the bottom
up.
Area action planning including neighbourhood/parish planning is well
developed at District level and will be enhanced by the joining up of services
at the local level and enhancing area based working.
Community engagement in the planning process will build upon work which
has been developed by the districts through their statements of community
involvement. Techniques such as “planning for real” (which have proved
highly effective in recent years) will be further rolled out. The bringing together
of Education and Planning services into one organisation will enable the
expansion of the nationally recognised Sustainable Environmental Education
Network which has proved highly effective in engaging young people in real
planning and environmental issues in Chester.




                                       - 12 -
Geographical contiguity with other agencies will enable LDF‟s to secure the
delivery of the necessary infrastructure to support new development and
strengthen neighbourhoods as service hubs
Frontline Development Control costs are unlikely to reduce significantly, but
efficiencies will come from integrating IT systems and having a single point of
entry for planning on-line, back office support, and integration with CRM
systems.
Highways, transport, environmental control and licensing services will be
joined up to provide seamless processes for applicants and realise economies
from integration of systems and support.


Highways and Transport
Transport issues will become integral to place shaping. The focus will be on
connectivity and access so as to meet the wider socio-economic needs of the
sub-region and its constituent localities, rather than transport as an end in
itself.
Strategic transport planning and transport co-ordination will be joined with
strategic housing, planning and economic development to deliver the
Sustainable Community Plan and the sub/city- regional development plans.
The two authorities will be more able to take difficult decisions on issues like
demand management or key strategic infrastructure, where they can see that
they and their communities are going to be the direct beneficiaries.
They will draw up comprehensive joint transport packages with neighbouring
areas, as part of integrated sub-regional and city regional strategies, which
make sense from the perspective of their own localities.
The benefits of investment will be more sustainable (and focused on initiatives
which add value and have community support), than they are under current
county based LTP arrangements.
Investment decisions will be based upon the contribution they make to
mutually agreed outcomes as part of shared city regional or sub-regional
strategies, rather than on political compromise.
In Chester and West Cheshire this will include building upon recent work to
improve links between areas of opportunity/job growth and
need/worklessness beyond administrative boundaries in the wider city region
Opportunities for innovation and improvement will contribute directly to the
enhancement of the LA area. For example the Chester Western Relief Road
and the Chester Deeside Transport System would have been delivered by
now if there had been an authority responsible for West Cheshire and its sub-
region.
Parking strategy and operations will be better joined up with wider transport,
economic and land use planning. A more co-ordinated and consistent
approach can be taken to parking policy and management in line with shared
economic and environmental priorities. Decriminalised parking will be rolled




                                      - 13 -
out more effectively without the confusion caused by the current two tier split.
At the same time back office costs for parking administration will be reduced.
Under the two tier system it is often difficult for local communities to influence
decisions about highways and transportation. The confusing division of
responsibilities for the public realm will be eliminated and highways and
transportation matters will be dealt with as local issues as well as strategic.
There will be strong links with other aspects of neighbourhood regeneration
and management, so the impact highways and transportation upon
neighbourhoods will be fully acknowledged.
The importance of local infrastructure will be better reflected, with community
transport, workwise initiatives, homezones, and demand responsive services
being built into local plans and strategies
Highways development control will join the Planning service to provide
consistent advice and response to developers, ensuring that appropriate
infrastructure is provided with new development and saving time in processing
applications.
Highways maintenance and road safety will be integrated with the wider public
realm and community safety service, providing locally responsive and joined
up management of the street-scene and neighbourhood environment and
better community safety.


Community Safety
The realities of socio-economic sub regions apply to crime as well and the
new authorities will ensure an improved capacity for cross-border
collaboration with Greater Manchester, North Wales and Merseyside, to
provide a more robust approach to dealing with travelling criminality and
serious crime.
This will extend to improved shared working on Emergency Planning and Civil
Contingencies preparedness, for instance across the Mersey & Dee estuaries
and associated industrial sites.
The concept of the „mirrored‟ economic and crime sub-region of West
Cheshire, North Wales and Merseyside will facilitate shared, cross-border
interventions to reduce the impact of serious crime and disorder on
residential, local businesses and industry. This was one of the drivers behind
the proposed merger of Cheshire and Merseyside Police Forces; this is not
proceeding now, but bringing the benefits of unitary local government to
residual Cheshire will be a significant step in addressing this issue.
West Cheshire districts anticipated the Crime & Disorder Act Review by
agreeing in March 2006 the formation of a new West Cheshire (Police BCU-
based) Strategic CDRP structure with local operational delivery partnerships
at district level.
The current structure of six CDRP‟s & seven LSP‟s plus the recent growth of
county-wide groups as part of the LAA process, has placed enormous
„meetings‟ demands on the senior officers of key statutory partners,
particularly on the Police & Fire Services. Historically, these demands have


                                       - 14 -
prevented the membership of other agencies, such as the National Probation
Service, on any CDRPs. Streamlined partnerships would save in the region of
£350k.
The current county-wide LAA is simply a composite of 6 district CDRP plans.
The opportunities to innovate and build capacity through shared working and
joint procurement were not taken in the dash to produce something at a
county level. Frustratingly, the targeting of resources to need was not done
and we now have simply another county-wide layer of bureaucracy between
local neighbourhoods and GONW.

The inevitable lack of effective leadership and local understanding at a county
level confirms the Crime & Disorder Act Review recommendation that a
strategic CDRP at County level would be “too remote from the communities it
serves”.
A new CDRP covering each new unitary authority, co-terminous with the
Police BCU area, will allow agencies like the National Probation Service to
play a more active role in these partnerships. Community-led „Community
Payback‟ Schemes are an excellent opportunity flowing from this closer
relationship
The new CDRP structures will provide the framework to respond to the new
Community Call for Action and Face the Public sessions. They will strengthen
community engagement by all agencies, eliminate the existing plethora of
individual agencies‟ community meetings, demonstrate joined-up delivery and
tackle the causes and symptoms of disadvantage.
Streamlined, re-invigorated CDRPs bolstered with new partners such as
National Probation Service will target community crime and disorder issues.
The two LAAs will be more focussed on neighbourhood issues rather than
remote county-wide performance averages which mask local problems and
disadvantage. A „golden thread‟ of performance measures will be developed,
built up from local outcomes and targets of individual neighbourhood „charters‟
to the strategic LAA.
A single Overview & Scrutiny Committee for each area, monitoring the impact
of the CDRP, will simplify the accountability arrangements of all partners and
provide a single focus for the Community Call for Action role.
The portfolio-holder for community safety will sit at the strategic CDRP table
and provide the necessary democratic leadership for all partners.
Tackling the multi-faceted causes of community safety problems facing our
residents needs joined-up services at a local level. One set of Councillors will
hold to account a single local authority (and Statutory Partners) who are
responsible for delivering the complete range of „community safety‟ services.
Multi-agency, neighbourhood task groups have been created to build on the
success of Police neighbourhood policing units and the learning from NM
pathfinders. Linked to the CDRPs, they will ensure partners deliver local
priorities for local people with strong accountability through Ward Councillors,
improving community cohesion and generating local pride and respect. This
local approach will provide reassurance and confidence in public service



                                      - 15 -
providers, that we listen, respond and let people know what we are doing in
their communities
The removal of district boundaries across Rural Neighbourhood Policing Units
will strengthen the emphasis on rural community safety issues, facilitating the
sharing of good practice and resources across rural communities.
The authorities will drive the community safety agenda through their schools.
The County Council should do this under their „Section 17‟ responsibility, but
their lead on this most important priority has previously been lacking, leaving
the burden with Head Teachers. There is enormous potential for schools to
play a big role in tackling crime and anti-social behaviour, particularly around
the RESPECT Agenda, and to contribute to the economic and social
regeneration of communities.
We know that the Emergency Services find partnership working better in the
Unitary Authorities of Warrington & Halton. What we say about the future is
tried and tested with existing partners.
An insular, centralised, county-wide Highways Maintenance function impedes
the service‟s contributing to local crime and disorder on issues such as
improved lighting and CCTV infrastructure. The new authorities will join up the
highways function to drive this work through its neighbourhood approach,
alongside existing partner services such as cleansing teams, grounds
maintenance, Wardens, Police and Fire. In this way we would deliver locally
responsive services and add another important service to the „clean, green &
safe‟ neighbourhood teams.
Trading Standards will be part of a broader regulatory, enforcement approach
to neighbourhood environmental, licensing and planning services within each
area. This would strengthen the resource base, eliminate duplication, release
resources and enable a consistent response to a range of complementary
legislation, including Licensing Act 2003 and Violent Crime Reduction Act
2006 for example, to tackle the alcohol-related crime issues in the City and
Town Centres.
The new unitary authorities will improve information sharing between
agencies by reducing the existing bureaucracy and administration between
seven local authorities and other statutory partners. The use of the Police
National Intelligence Model and standards will drive strategic direction and
operational delivery of action at the local level.
The Police Western BCU and Chester City Council are currently working
together on a Community Safety Accreditation Scheme to authorise
Community Safety Wardens and Police Community Support Officers with the
necessary powers to tackle neighbourhood-based, low level environmental
„crime‟ and anti-social behaviour. This would be extended across Chester &
West Cheshire and, we hope, to East Cheshire too.
Chester & West Cheshire would provide the West Cheshire Domestic
Violence Family Support as part of its services for Children & Young People /
Vulnerable People rather than within the traditional „community safety‟ area.
This emphasises the safeguarding of children and protection of people when
at their most vulnerable and will ensure other essential services such as



                                      - 16 -
housing, education, health and social care play their role in delivering
improved local outcomes.
The West Cheshire Specialist Domestic Violence Court became operational in
2006 with a second East Cheshire Court to be implemented before 2010.


Environment
After community safety, local environmental quality and its impact on people‟s
everyday lives is the community‟s second most important priority.
The existing countywide fragmentation of Waste Management and differing
policy paths has meant that the sub-regional joint working opportunities for
both East & West Cheshire have not been accessed or evaluated.
Modern day waste management infrastructure is technically complex and
costly. The ability to secure early agreement on a single Waste Strategy for
each area, alongside joint working between the two authorities, will enable the
benefits of sub-regional partnering to be fully explored and realised, releasing
additional resources for further innovative investment.
Each area will work within the economic, and therefore environmental, sub-
region with industry and the business sector to improve environmental
performance on „greenhouse‟ emissions, dealing with trade waste and
packaging, air quality and promoting increased corporate responsibility.
Similarly, local communities have an important role in taking action on and
responsibility for environmental issues and this would be addressed at a
neighbourhood level.
The cross-border partnering would ensure improved application of the
„proximity principle‟ in dealing with waste whilst delivering the maximum
efficiencies of scale through joint procurement and commissioning.
A coherent single Waste Management Plan for each area will enable a more
active role for residents and parish councils in taking local responsibility for
waste collection and disposal, determining policy and demanding action on
environmental issues.
Pooling recycling targets and expertise, and sharing best practice and joint-
working in each authority would guarantee them hitting the Government target
of 40% by 2009/10 and avoid LATS penalties from being incurred.
The County Council is considering two residual waste treatment plants in the
East & West. Because of the split collection and disposal responsibilities,
these facilities are not being considered as part of an integrated waste
management plan. Combining treatment plants with recycling facilities would
provide an integrated solution for the management of waste that would be
cost effective, attractive to waste management companies and realise big
service, logistical and carbon reduction benefits. Such facilities would provide
a strong negotiating position for the sale of recycled and treated materials and
in the contract procurement stages.
A fully integrated waste management service would save approximately
£4.1m across Chester & West Cheshire and Cheshire East.



                                       - 17 -
The public will understand who is responsible for waste matters and a
comprehensive communication and education strategy will be applied across
neighbourhoods, schools, retail sector and manufacturing industry.
The authorities would immediately realise the financial and operational
benefits of integrating streetscene cleansing and grounds maintenance
contracts, with anticipated savings of £700k pa, whilst delivering real
opportunities for neighbourhood-based social enterprise initiatives.
The success of the DCLG-funded Blacon Car Clear scheme in dealing with
abandoned vehicles and reducing arson would be rolled out across Chester &
West Cheshire immediately, sharing best practice across all communities
blighted by this problem. Its lessons could also be applied to the east.
The Fire Service would benefit from the new unitary authorities, helping them
to respond to their enhanced responsibilities under the Fire & Rescue
Services Act 2004 and develop their emerging role of improved community
cohesion and protecting vulnerable people. Benefits include joint working on
local, regional and national major emergency risks and threats, local
governance and accountability mechanisms through single ward councillors
and Overview & Scrutiny Committee, partnership work on community safety,
highways safety and environmental issues.
Since 2004/05, Chester‟s LSP has championed action at all levels on climate
change as one of their key Community Plan projects. This strategic drive and
leadership would be extended across Chester & West Cheshire and sub-
regionally looking at action on sustainable developments, waste management,
transport, air quality and pollution prevention, service procurement and
industry emissions. Its lessons could again be applied to the east.
In addition, action by individuals and communities on energy efficiency in the
home, waste recycling and composting, travel arrangements, shopping habits
and water conservation would be encouraged and supported in line with
DEFRA‟s „Every Action Counts‟ initiative.
Work at both sub-regional and neighbourhood levels would ensure timely
action is taken on greenhouse emissions and other environmental pollution to
help mitigate the impact of climate change.
Chester & West Cheshire is affected by the River Dee & Mersey estuary. The
new unitary would simplify working with North Wales and North West
Environment Agencies on river catchment and water resource management
across the flood plain connecting these two rivers. Again, a unitary Council
would strengthen the sub-regional emergency planning response on flooding
preparedness with all relevant agencies and partners.


8. TRANSITIONAL ARRANGEMENTS
Alignment of Strategies and Policy
Local development Schemes for each unitary area to be revised in order to
integrate and align LDF‟s – Adoption 2010/11




                                     - 18 -
Housing Strategies for east and west housing markets to be developed on the
basis of current housing market assessment work and made fit for purpose by
2009
Sub-regional Economic Development Strategy in place and fully aligned with
City Region Development Plans by 2009/2010
LTP‟s for new unitary areas produced in time for next round of LTP reviews
Rationalisation of Partnerships
CDRP:
      Strategic Group for Chester & West Cheshire – immediately by 2008
       as part of shadow arrangements.
      Operational activity – as above formalising existing embryonic
       structures.
MDA and City Regional economic alliances developed by 2009.
Cross Border Housing Partnership established through MDA by 2008.
Alignment of key contracts
Waste:
      Infrastructure:
      Recycling – joint facility in West by 2008.
      Treatment – 2012 to fit with existing landfill life-cycle.
      Contract procurement – during 2008 for a contract start of April 2009.
Cleansing & grounds Maintenance:
      Integrated contracts by April 2010.
Regulatory Services:
      Merged, multi-disciplinary teams by 2010.
Emergency Planning:
      Extend existing joint working to include Vale Royal by 2009
      Cross-border working with North Wales & Wirral 2010/11.
Single housing agency agreement in place 2011.




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