Partnership working is increasingly becoming the way forward for the delivery of public services. Working in partnership is an effective way of meeting local people's service needs, minimising the financial burden on council taxpayers and, overall, providing strong community leadership. It is recognised that coordinated and collaborative action is more effective than separate action by individual agencies.
Working in partnership can produce many benefits:
- Ensures that strategies and programmes take account of the needs and interests of all relevant groups and stakeholders.
- Improve the efficiency of service delivery by making making better use of resources whether in the public, private or voluntary sectors and avoids wasteful duplication.
- Addresses issues that lie outside the remit of individual partners to deliver more "joined up" services that better meets the needs of the users
- Developing policies or delivering services in a way that would not be possible working separately
- Gain access to previously unavailable resources
- Can address complex/cross cutting issues
However, it is not easy - partnership working is complex, it challenges many of the traditional organisational, professional and cultural boundaries, and could demand significant changes.
Chichester District Council is involved in may different partnerships that cover issues such crime, health and voluntary sector and the Local Strategic Partnership.
Manhood Peninsula Partnership
The Manhood Peninsula Partnership (MPP) is a Standing Conference for the Manhood Peninsula. The partnership was formed in 2001, and its main aim is to promote, develop and support initiatives that deliver economic, social and environmental benefits.
The partnership has forged a new way of working together for the benefit of the peninsula and its people; it has helped create a wider understanding of local issues; it has promoted forward thinking. As a community led initiative, it provides a representative local forum and brings together key organisations: local groups, local and national government agencies, and other bodies.
The partnership has a proven track record of project delivery. Its success relies on its ability to promote a multi-agency approach that fosters trust and cooperation and brings together different funding schemes, including giving access to funding denied to local councils or small organisations. The achievements of the MPP are recognised locally, nationally and internationally.
The MPP wishes to reflect what community consultation says the Manhood Peninsula should continue to be: low key, tranquil, relatively unspoilt and undeveloped, isolated, semi-rural, sustainable and - while maintaining its unique qualities - providing economic security and an important link between the South Downs and the sea.
The partnership seeks meaningful and practical results for these key objectives:
- Economic regeneration
- Social wellbeing
- Environmental management
The partnership has a proven track record of project delivery. It has itself implemented projects worth over £600k. Major achievements include:
- The ESPACE programme in 2004-07 and adoption of the "Climate for Change on the Manhood Peninsula - Adaptation Action Plan" in 2006.
- 'Going Dutch II' workshops in 2008. During the workshop Dutch and British Coastal management specialists reviewed the draft Coastal Defence Strategy and examined other options put forward by local residents.
- The MPP had a role in gaining understanding and acceptance of the Coastal Defence Strategy and the Medmerry proposals.
- The Coastal Change Pathfinder project 2009-11; adoption of the integrated coastal zone management plan "Towards ICZM on the Manhood Peninsula".
- Prompting inclusion of an ICZM policy in the district council's Local Plan.
- Creation of a Destination Management Plan (DMP) aimed at furthering the prospects for green tourism and economic regeneration.
- Physical projects that engage local communities.
The Peninsula area includes the following parishes: Appledram, Birdham, Donnington, Earnley, East Wittering and Bracklesham, Hunston, North Mundham, Selsey, Sidlesham, West Itchenor and West Wittering. The partnership consists of representatives from parish councils and local groups and from organisations with statutory responsibilities in the Manhood Peninsula. The following organisations are currently members of the partnership:
- Chichester District Council (Secretariat)
- Chichester Harbour Conservancy
- Environment Agency
- National Trust
- Natural England
- Peninsula Community Forum
- Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB)
- Selsey Town Council
- Sussex Association of Local Councils
- West Sussex County Council
- Wittering Estates
Coastal Change Pathfinder Project
Recently the Manhood Peninsula Partnership (MPP) was the delivery partner in Defra's Coastal Change Pathfinder project, for which Chichester District Council was awarded £450,000. In 2009 the Government awarded £11 million in grants to local authorities who demonstrated the best and most innovative ideas for dealing with and adapting to coastal change. 15 local authorities were successful, each of whom developed their own schemes for working with communities that face the threat of coastal erosion.
The grant could not be used for the direct funding of sea defences. Instead the scheme was about working with local communities to adapt to coastal erosion. It was about recognising that the shape of our coastline is not fixed; but is subject to constant change which will only increase as our climate changes.
The MPP, the independent national charity CoastNet and the Manhood Peninsula Steering Group worked with Chichester District Council to deliver different elements of the project.
The MPP delivered several community based projects the most prominent of which were:
- An Integrated Coastal Zone Management plan for the Peninsula, Towards ICZM on the Manhood Peninsula, which has been adopted as a material planning consideration by the Local Planning Authority. This working group was chaired by WSCC.
- A forward thinking Destination Management Plan agreed by business and wildlife /ecological organisations aiming at protecting the environment by using it as an economic asset.
- A well subscribed small grants fund that supported community projects which raised awareness of the changing coastline.
There is a growing understanding that stakeholder engagement is necessary for good decision making in all areas of governance. This is particularly true of coastal management and climate change adaptation. Government and its agencies are responding with new guidance for engagement, but there still appears to be a fundamental gap of understanding that will not be solved by ad hoc consultation exercises.
Part of the Coastal Change Pathfinder project was delivered by the charity CoastNet in the form of an educational programme under the title Coastal Literacy. The programme aimed to provide a framework to fill that gap.
The anticipated results were:
- Less conflict and more timely adoption of policies
- More efficient and cost effective policy delivery regarding both coastal and marine activity
Coastal Literacy is about equipping the public, politicians and technicians with the knowledge and understanding required to take an active and meaningful place in coastal decision-making. This participation should be be good for democracy, good for decision-making, and good for empowering for communities.
The most significance outputs under Coastal Literacy were an information leaflet, a number of films looking at the Manhood Peninsula coastline and two reports concerned with Coastal Literacy.
The films are about the special nature of the peninsula coast, and coastal governance locally. They can be viewed on our Coastal Change YouTube channel.
The purpose of the Coastal Change Leaflet was to distil aspects of the Coastal Literacy concepts formed through a number of expert panel workshops, and turn them into public information. CoastNet tested this approach in local schools - Seal, Medmerry and East Wittering. The leaflet can be found under Related documents.
Reports and surveys undertaken by CoastNet include the Coastal Literacy Survey and the Conceptual Framework.
Towards Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) is the spatial plan suggesting management options of the coastal zone from a number of perspectives. It is similar in principle to a Village Design Statement for the peninsula, and comments on how the coastal zone affects/is affected by life there. Subject themes within the document are based on the Sustainable Community Strategy entitled 'Chichester, A Very Special Place'. It provides a summary of local opinion and expectation as depicted in Parish Plans, Village Design Statements, Conservation Area Character Appraisals (CACAs), and a number of other documents on which consultation has already taken place including the Pagham - East Head Coastal Defence Strategy and the North Solent Shoreline Management Plan. A workshop discussed many of these issues further.
Included within Towards ICZM is an integrated coastal zone spatial policy Spatial Plan 14. It has been suggested that the policy is included within the emerging Local Plan for Chichester District outside the National Park. The council is currently working on the Local Plan and the policy will be reviewed in light of the National Planning Policy Statement which was produced after ICZM.
For further information and advice contact: email@example.com