Swindon’s Strategic Partnership

10 11 2009

Swindon Strategic Partnership has been working on an interesting project, the details of which can be found here.

An important aspect of the partnership is the development of local ‘clusters’, combining the skills and knowledge of local people, and representatives from the public and private sectors:

“Within the Borough we have identified seven ‘cluster’ areas. The clusters are built around ward boundaries and Connecting People Connecting Places is a way of supporting elected members as representatives of their communities and as local leaders and decision makers. Elected members will convene cluster forums with interested community champions and local people and will discuss local issues and develop local solutions.”

The emerging picture is democratic, localised, and potentially extremely effective. There is also a strong emphasis on structural accountability, which should prevent the clusters from becoming mere talking-shops, however well-intentioned. The job description of the Head of a Cluster makes this clear:

“The Cluster Lead is a critical role in the Council’s deployment of its Connecting People, Connecting Places agenda. This senior role will provide collegiate support and advice to Ward Members in order to help them ensure that Council services are best positioned to deliver the priorities of their local people.”

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