Local Area Coordination Network Report, Executive Summary
The Councils who make up the Local Area Coordination Network have coproduced a new report entitled ‘Which Way Next?’. The report is based on the testimony of many people involved, and outlines how the approach has adapted to meet new challenges by:
- Supporting people and families to achieve their vision of a good life, to use their gifts and make their contribution.
- Helping communities to be self-supporting and to flourish.
- Supporting systems transformation, building bridges and strengthening relationships between citizens, communities and services.
‘Which Way Next?’ looks to the future challenges in this ever-changing world for people and families, communities and the service system alike and outlines ways Local Area Coordination can help coproduce multilevel recovery, renewal and rebuilding efforts around these concerns. It focusses on its potential to nurture and sustain the recent surge of community action without compromising the natural authority of people and groups to lead in their own communities. This will be a tricky balance to strike and with further challenges and opportunities ahead we will face a tough question, “which way next?”
The report argues that one choice of paths leads us to more familiar territory; enhanced gatekeeping of resource, reduction in services, pulling back from community, deficit-based commissioning and hoping for better times to come. Whilst another sees us intentionally building a powerful new deal based on the strengths and assets of our communities and the abundance of neighbourliness which will in turn reduce demand and cost upon systems.
It concludes by outlining how Local Area Coordination can and should be a key piece of the new puzzle. It brings to life visions of more equitable, cooperative localities where people help people first with services in place as an essential, well-resourced and supportive backup to a functional society.
There are currently over 100 Local Area Coordinators working in communities of around 10,000 or so people. The Network is made up of the Councils of Derby City, Leicestershire County, Kirklees, Luton, City of York, Thurrock, Wiltshire, Swansea, London Boroughs of Waltham Forest, Haringey and Havering. Over the next year we will be seeking to support a number of new areas to implement Local Area Coordination taking the approach to even more communities across England and Wales. Come and join this powerful movement for change.