Locality Working

In Trafford we have a strong culture of working together, across public services and with communities. We want make sure that we are utilising all of our assets, skills and resources we have in our towns and neighbourhoods.

Locality working is a way to work collaboratively and innovatively to make best use of the assets we have in our local area. We are bringing people together, from individual residents, businesses, community and faith groups, councillors, community leaders and public sector bodies, to work in partnership, share resources and enable new ideas to develop, making full use of the physical and human assets, financial resources and community spirit that thrives within our localities.

For more details download Your Guide to Locality Working.

Locality working

  • Sees residents, communities, businesses and organisations as equal partners
  • Brings people together to achieve things we cannot do alone
  • Shares power with local people, and add value to their local activity
  • Aligns strategic priorities with local communities to deliver joint action
  • Provides the tools and support to local people to take action
  • Shares information, skills and resources and collaborate with partners and people
  • Be creative, dynamic, supportive and challenging in order to achieve our shared ambitions.

Benefits of locality working

  • Increasing active citizenship
  • Increasing community ownership of issues and challenges and developing innovative solutions
  • Reducing demand for services
  • Improving transparency and accountability to local people
  • Providing local communities with the opportunity to influence change and commissioning decisions

Locality working is delivered through

  • Locality projects – coproduced by services and communities, these innovative projects tackle strategic issues by pooling resources, doing things differently and using community assets, skills and resources.
  • Locality Partnerships – acting as inclusive networks of people who live and work in a locality, they bring people together to share information and ideas, build relationships and create change
  • Community Grants – using a range of models and scale to allocate funding across the local community, from micro-grants to residents to larger grants to established community groups, encouraging local action
  • Be Bold … Be the Difference - A borough-wide campaign to encourage residents to get involved in their local community, take action and make a difference, and to highlight the support that is available to them from agencies. Visit our Be Bold webpage for more information.
  • Community Builders – front-line staff, managers and Ward Councillors have a key role in this campaign, acting as ‘Community Builders’, on the ground enabling residents to take action by signposting and connecting them to other local people and supporting services.
  • Public Service Reform - Locality Working is intrinsically linked with other key strategic agendas, providing a practical way of delivering Early Help and Prevention, Place-based Integrated Delivery, Shaping Demand, Community Action and Third Sector Infrastructure Support. These have been brought together within the new Building Strong Communities Strategy. Public Service Reform will see fundamental changes to how services are delivered in localities and with communities, enabled by significant change in the workforce.

Asset Based Community Development and Locality Working

Underpinning locality working is Trafford’s approach to Asset Based Community Development, a methodology for the sustainable development of communities based on their strengths and potentials. It involves assessing the resources, skills, and experience available in a community, organising the community around issues that move its members into action and then determining and taking appropriate action. This focuses on maximising the strengths and assets in an area, not on the negatives and needs. So we consider “what’s strong, not what’s wrong”.

Principles that guide ABCD

  • Everyone has gifts: each person in a community has something to contribute
  • Relationships build a community: people must be connected in order for sustainable community development to take place
  • Citizens at the centre: citizens should be viewed as actors - not recipients
  • Leaders involve others: community development is strongest when it involves a broad base of community action
  • People care: challenge notions of "apathy" by listening to people's interests
  • Listen: decisions should come from conversations where people are heard
  • Ask: asking for ideas is more sustainable than giving solutions

There are a several stages and practical tools to ABCD, such as finding ‘Community Connectors’, mapping assets (can be people, existing groups or fixed structures), identifying community building themes and building connections.

In Trafford we have built on this approach to value, and see as equal, all assets and skills in the community, which includes the public and private sectors alongside residents and communities. By bringing them together, as the Locality Partnerships do, we can build new relationships and connections across sectors, creating innovative co-produced solutions and utilising our collective resources more effectively.

At the Trafford Partnership Conference in 2014, guest speaker Cormac Russell delivered a fantastic set of talks, workshops and activities throughout the day. Cormac is Managing Director of Nurture Development and a faculty member of the Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) Institute at Northwestern University, Chicago. He has trained communities, agencies and governments in ABCD and other strengths based approaches around the world. For more information on Cormac visit his website www.nurturedevelopment.org.

Cormac delivered a fantastic set of talks, workshops and activities throughout the day. He closed by summarising some key points for delegates, beginning by highlighting the role of paid Community Builders, brokering relationships and connecting people at street level. Community Builders are supported by Community Connectors; local unpaid people who naturally and fluidly build relations, host conversations and value relations. These people are connectors not leaders. They find hidden, informal associations who come together by consent not control, those who come together not for grant funding, but because they want to. We can then build up an ‘association of associations’ (our Locality Partnerships), where ideas can be shared, as this creates change. 

Resources are necessary, but the community need to set the outcomes. “You can measure the sustainability of a project by the number of citizen fingerprints that are on it”. Whilst it is important to act now, we must also keep an eye on the future, thinking about what can be achieved in 10 years’ time.

Finally, Cormac posed three questions for delegates to take forward: 

  • What could we do in 10 years using community power?
  • If community power alone is not sufficient, what help do we need from agencies?
  • What’s left for the agencies to do?

There are a number of information sheets below which will support you through the concepts, challenges and opportunities Cormac walked us through: