Last week Manchester Climate Monthly published a story with the snappy title “Manchester has 32 wards. All should have ward plans. Only 9 do. People gonna have to do it for themselves.”
We’d done an investigation of whether the “ward plans” for the 32 wards of Manchester City Council could be found on a methodical search of the Council’s website. Very few could, and those were out of date. We’ve just (as in 10 minutes ago, received a reply sent “on behalf of” the head of regeneration. It’s published in full below. The italicised bits are the question that were sent in. The take home is this – Ward Plans continue to exist, and there are ways (not always easy and obvious) to get involved…
Good afternoon Mr Hudson
Thank you for your enquiry the response is as follows
The internet team are investigating the reason for the Fallowfield area reflecting the Rusholme Ward Plan and the Higher Blackley East plan and we will respond as soon as we have an answer thank you for raising these issues with us.
Qa) If the other ward plans exist, and if so, where I can find them?
Aa) As you have mentioned although some of the 2013/14 Ward plans are on the internet not all Ward Plans are currently available. We have been working with the Communications team on refreshing / updating the Council’s website’s ‘my area’ pages which will merge to ‘ your neighbourhood’ pages. We are working with Communications on further improvements to the new page including adding a link to the current ward plan, CASH grant applications etc.
Qb) Are there ward plans for the year 2014/5 in development?
Ab) Yes these are refreshed with Ward members on an annual basis and, when agreed, will be uploaded to the internet.
Qc) If the ward plan system is in fact being abandoned or is delayed, (as seems to be the case) could you point me to any prior announcement of this by the Council?
Ac) Ward co-ordination is a key part of MCC service delivery and there are no plans to abandon the Ward plans. Copies of ward plans can be requested through the relevant regeneration co-ordinators: Philip Bradley; Richard Jones; Ruth Billingham; Martin Saker or Jane Archer.
Qd) If there is no prior announcement, could you please provide a statement as to why the ward system is being abandoned.
Ad) The Ward system is not being abandoned,
Qe) Finally, if people in Manchester are interested in getting involved in helping create a ward plan for their ward, who should they contact? Is it their councillors? Is there a a central email address for ward co-ordinators, or a list of co-ordinators for the 32 different wards?
Ae) Established Tenant Resident Associations (TRAs) and community based organisations are invited to be involved in the ward co-ordination process E.G via Twitter for example @MCCCrumpsall, attending resident meetings, and in some cases inviting council officer to their meetings / walkabouts etc.
Ward plans are shared with TRAs at various meetings and progress is reported on them at resident meetings throughout the year. TRAs are also involved in reviewing and refreshing ward plans. So for example, all of North Manchester’s ward plans are currently being updated for 2014/15. The next cycle of resident meetings will be involved in commenting on the previous year’s achievements and draft priorities for the coming year.
Different Wards have different arrangements which are dependant on the local engagement structures for example in Moss Side they have 2 engagement forums one for TRAs and one for the Voluntary Community Sector Groups. The meetings are quarterly and involve consultation including Ward planning and priority settings.
In Rusholme for example there is a representation of the community in the Ward Meetings.
In areas without TRAs residents are engaged in the ward coordination process by attending ward coordination meetings and residents forums as well as receiving information via email and/ or twitter.
There is not a central email address for ward co-ordinators however if you scroll to the very bottom of the front page of the Council Internet Site and enter your postcode in the “your neighbourhood” box it will give an email address for your local Ward co-ordinator.
Many thanks in advance for your reply to all these questions!
You are very welcome should you have any further queries please could you contact a member of the regeneration team in the first instance their details are.
Richard M Jones@manchester.gov.uk