TOP DOWN MEETS
BOTTOM UP IN
SUNDERLAND!
Phil Spooner
Head of Regeneration and Housing
Sunderland City Council
STRUCTURE
• Background – City, structures, experience
• The Challenge – achieving an effective
balance between top down and bottom up
• Sunderland’s approach and experience
• Stocktake and next steps
BACKGROUND: THE CITY
• 300,000 people in 3 main settlement types
and over 150 neighbourhoods
• broad, multi-faceted deprivation
• focus of many special regeneration
programmes but …
• needed to sharpen up our act to attract funds
in a competitive situation
BACKGROUND: STRUCTURES
• Strong record of partnership
• Go-ahead City Council with traditional values
• ‘Excellent’ rating in comprehensive Performance
Assessment
• Increasingly well organised and networked
voluntary/community sector
• Weak private sector
• Regeneration and Central Policy formed core of
Chief Executive’s Department from mid 1990s
BACKGROUND: EXPERIENCE
• Regeneration programmes, their development, research,
consultation, practical resident involvement
• City Strategy produced since 1997
• Public Service Agreement pathfinder
• Best Value Pilot Authority 1998
• Neighbourhood Renewal Fund, floor targets and the need
to achieve clearer accountability and measurability
• Connecting and reconciling the needs, wants, aspirations
of all main interests
THE CHALLENGE
‘DOWNWARDS’
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Government, regional, City-level policies
Government floor targets
City Partnership priorities and imperatives
Consistency of standards (completeness and
quality) and approach wherever appropriate
‘UPWARDS’
• Local research findings, issues,
opportunities, priorities
• Outcomes of focus groups and other
consultation methods
• Community Visioning Exercise
• Community Spirit / MORI
• Implementation practice, information,
views, experience
WHERE TOP DOWN MEETS BOTTOM UP
A continuously evolving approach featuring:
• Area Regeneration Frameworks
• issues
• opportunities
• priorities
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Area Regeneration Officers
Area Committees and Council restructuring
Area Partnerships
Area Budgets
Appraisals
Local Strategic Partnership Board
Community Strategy
Area
Regeneration
Framework
Themed Partnerships
Area Partnerships /
Committees
OR PUT ANOTHER WAY …
• Policies
• Floor Targets
• Standards/consistencies
AREA REGENERATION FRAMEWORKS
• Common format
• Outcome focus
• Holistic approach
• Performance management tool
• Local priorities
• Practice experience
• Research
• Consultation outcomes
• Customer feedback
PRACTICE INFLUENCING
POLICY
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Primary care service delivery
Community Police Task Forces
Local labour in construction
‘Schools- plus’ developments
Youth Parliament
Diversity respected and valued
Fundamental changes in process and approach to local
regeneration
• Neighbourhood Renewal Strategy and Community
Strategy
Stocktake
• We can achieve a productive balance between top down
and bottom up
• The process is not without its tensions
• The process has been evolutionary
• Results have been promising but there is much more to do
• It’s a team game – we need Government, strategists, policy
officers, practitioners and the community working together
towards common goals
• The future will be exciting and challenging … will
Government play its part?
NEXT STEPS
• Merge Community Strategy and Neighbourhood
Renewal Strategy
• Develop Area Frameworks – scope and content
• Review how far all interests are ‘plugged in’ –
minority ethnic communities, young, elderly
private sector
• Refine and develop Area Partnerships
• Exploit e-technology to develop our approach
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top down meets bottom up in sunderland!