Agenda item


The Strategic Director, Place will present a document (Document “Y”) which asks the Committee to consider the Stronger Communities Strategy and Delivery Plan, produced by the Bradford Stronger Communities Partnership.




That the work carried out in the development of the Bradford Stronger Communities Strategy and Delivery Plan by the Stronger Communities Partnership be noted.


(Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee)


(Zahra Niazi – 01274 436082)


The Strategic Director, Place presented a document (Document “Y”) which asked the Committee to consider the Stronger Communities Strategy and Delivery Plan, produced by the Bradford Stronger Communities Partnership.


It was reported that the Strategy was intended to increase opportunities for people from different backgrounds to:  mix together, increase their mutual understanding and respect of each other and reduce misunderstandings and to remove barriers that prevent people from taking full advantage of the opportunities available to all people living in Britain. 


Members were informed that the Green Paper and local strategy were intended to amplify the benefits that could be realised from existing programmes that support integration and other programmes that support social mobility such as the Education Opportunity Area Programme and Economic Strategy.

It was reported that the development of the local Stronger Communities strategy and associated consultation had been funded through a combination of mainstream Council funding and through £100,000 of ‘seed funding’ provided by the MHCLG (Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government). This funding had been used to employ an ‘Integrated Communities Programme Lead’ to commission reports relating to this area of work and to lead on engagement with people and with district residents on their priorities.

Members were informed that the MHCLG had committed financial support to the five ‘Integrated Communities Pilot Areas’. Bradford Partnership’s submission, through the local ‘delivery Plan’ sought funding of £4.9 million towards delivering a range of projects. MHCLG had allocated £1,187,101 for year one expenditure. A decision on the residual funding for year two would be announced in January 2019 and funding from MHCLG needed to be committed by 31st March 2020.

A short discussion was held on the Linking Network and linking schools in deprived areas with schools in affluent areas.


Members commented on a number of issues which included:


·         A number of initiatives mentioned in the strategy such as linking schools had taken place previously but had not produced any positive outcomes; how was the project going to get parents from affluent areas to go to deprived areas so that their children could mix and integrate? A system was being created where there was more segregation in schools on faith, gender and class and the historic initiative of bussing children to different areas did not work.

·         Asking schools to consider changing their admission policy was optimistic as certain schools such as academies had their own admissions policy and schools such as Dixons allocated very few places to children who lived in the local area and did not benefit deprived areas instead they operated a more selective system and did not see how this was a fair admission process.

·         A new free girls school that had opened in Bradford would cause further gendersegregation.

·         Areas such as Ravenscliffe and Eccleshill had a lack of positive male role models.

·         Did not feel the school linking programme would have a positive outcome; needed to look at informal structures such as meeting at a restaurant; needed to build relationships with people from different Wards.

·         Little Horton and Toller were highly deprived Wards and previous systems had failed them and hoped that this programme would not fail the community; women were still not able to speak English; a lot of money was going into integration which needed tracking; local people should be asked rather than the University undertaking a research project and informing how things should be done and the challenges facing Bradford; needed to look at issues such as graduates not being able to gain employment; needed to see programmes that were robust.

·         It was crucial the programmes were value for money; how was the Partnership Board going to ensure the programmes provided value for money in terms of outcomes? integration and community cohesion was the responsibility of every community hoped that the Partnership Board would take that on board; there was a perception that only certain communities needed integrating.

·         It was good to hear emerging and hard work taking place which would benefit all communities; would like to see information on which schools took part in the linking schools programme and which did not.

·         Improving language skills would make a huge amount of difference to the various communities.

·         When would the various programmes be reviewed to ascertain what benefit they had made and whether the provided value for money? Needed a report back on what worked and what did not.


 In response to the comments raised by Members it was reported that:

·         Issues such as single sex, faith schools and less parental choice were being raised with the Department for Education.

·         Discussions would be held with schools on the various challenges.

·         There was a graduate research hub, employment skills was a separate research fund that helped support graduates; training graduates in jobs where there was growth, matching students in areas of work.

·         The programme would be looking at what the barriers were for people wanting to learn English.

·         The comments made by the Committee would be reported to the Partnership Board.






Resolved –


(1)          That the work carried out in the development of the Bradford Stronger Communities Strategy and Delivery Plan by the Stronger Communities Partnership be noted.


(2)          That the comments/issues raised by members of this Committee be submitted to the Stronger Communities Partnership Board.


(3)          That a progress report on the delivery plan be submitted to this Committee in September 2019.


Action:  Strategic Director Place                     


(Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee)



Supporting documents: