Council aims to build relationships with communities

Malvern Hills District Council has adopted a new approach to work with communities to build stronger, resilient, and sustainable communities across the district.

The asset-based community development (ABCD) policy, which was approved at an Executive Committee meeting on Tuesday (21 September), will see the council working more effectively with communities to empower them to do things by themselves.

An asset is anything that makes a community better, whether it is existing associations or contributions from residents.

The ABCD policy builds on the assets that are found already in the community and allows individuals, groups, and organisations to come together to develop their strengths.

The council's commitment to ABCD is based on the belief that people live more fulfilling lives when they have the power to shape their own outcomes and change things that matter to them.

Examples of ABCD within the community are the Malvern Hills Good Neighbour Network where local groups provide support for others to tackle social isolation and the Adopt a Street scheme where residents receive litter picking equipment from the council to keep their area tidy.

As part of the ABCD approach, the council has developed a Connected Communities strategy which will cover the next 20 years and is anchored around three central themes of healthier, safer and inclusive, stronger and sustainable communities. A consultation gathering views on this strategy is currently in place.

The council has also launched a £500,000 fund which has been created to strengthen and develop the district's communities following the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The fund will be used to support projects around the themes of places, people and supporting charities and social enterprises.

Cllr Tom Wells, Portfolio Holder for Community Services at Malvern Hills District Council, said: "The approval of the ABCD policy is the next step in building important connections and supporting the building of stronger, resilient, and sustainable communities. Building stronger communities supports people's feelings of safety, wellbeing and health which is our priority as a district council.

"There are things that only a community can do, that they're uniquely competent to do. There are also things that only government can do. It's important that the district council doesn't do what the community can do, but where a community needs help – help them. And where a community needs the council to do its job, get on and do it."

Visit www.malvernhills.gov.uk/community/connected-communities for more information and to take part in the consultation.

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