The DSP held its annual conference on Thursday 9 March 2017 at the Coaver Conference Centre at County Hall. The theme of the afternoon’s event was “Interdependence – the way forward for Devon’s communities”.
The conference was an opportunity for participants to:
- hear about the work that organisations are doing to enhance community resilience and independence
- learn about examples of projects and activities across Devon
- discuss how DSP members and partners can work together and tackle shared priorities.
Conference programme and presentations
Welcome by the Chairman of the Devon Strategic Partnership
Councillor John Hart (Leader of Devon County Council).
Police and Crime Plan – Update
Alison Hernandez (Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly).
The Police and Crime Plan for Devon, Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly 2017-2020 has been co-produced with the Chief Constable. It sets out the strategic priorities for policing and aims to have excellent policing, co-ordinated wider public services and resilient self-supporting communities.
Devon’s Young People: Creators or Consumers?
Kevin Henman (Chief Executive, DYS SPACE Ltd – Devon youth service).
There is more information about the work of SPACE on its website.
Developing Resilience in Devon’s Communities
Dominic Maxwell-Batten (Emergency Planning Officer, Devon County Council).
The presentation given by Dom is available here. Dom’s presentation included two short videos. The first is about the Topsham Community flood exercise. The second video is about the CLEAR plan for community resilience.
Citizens in Policing and the Community Unity Pilot Project
Emma Webber (Senior Coordinator Citizens in Policing, Devon & Cornwall Police)
Elaine Cook (CEO, Devon Communities Together)
Mike Felstead (Community Unity Project Manager, Devon Communities Together)
Roundtable discussions at the Conference
Participants spent the last 30 minutes of the Conference in roundtable discussions about their top three priorities for the future. Their conclusions are summarised in the notes below.
Table 1 (Facilitator: Jo Hooper)
Representatives from: Citizens Advice Bureau, Devon Faith and Belief Forum, Living Options Devon and Devon county councillor.
Priority 1: Co-production
For co-production to work conversations need to be inclusive across broad groups. This should be a prerequisite before commissioning/designing services and projects.
This should draw on knowledge of different approaches – eg market-warming.
Priority 2: Young people
All organisations should aim for greater involvement of young people in decision-making. There could be opportunities arising from apprenticeships.
More positive messages about young people in the workplace.
Priority 3: Volunteering
Be mindful of potential competition for volunteers. Need to better understand the untapped potential and the potential barriers to volunteering.
Be smarter about seeking and recruiting volunteering. Stop fishing in the same pool.
Give people resources to volunteer – eg bus pass.
Clear expectation for current volunteers (don’t overwhelm them).
Volunteer roles, such as snow wardens, could target young people.
Table 2 (Facilitator: Dominic Maxwell-Batten)
Representatives from Ivybridge Town Council, Devon County Council Communities Team, Devon & Cornwall Police, and VOYC Devon.
Priority 1: Town councils: understand new service offerings (involve town councils) (Ivybridge Town Council).
Priority 2: Maximise opportunities to build capacity (Devon & Cornwall Police).
Priority 3: Consistency in communications – information sharing (brand and offerings).
Table 3 (Facilitator: Steve Edwards)
Representatives from Active Devon, Devon & Cornwall Police, Devon County Council Public Health and Communities Team
Priority 1: Link/locality interface roles
The joint Devon Communities Together/Devon & Cornwall Police project offers:
- 360 degree planning.
- Blue light led need to focus on prevention.
- Joining up and coordinated offering via Safer Devon Partnership.
- Ticks boxes for a number of organisations. So we could pool effort and resources.
- Similarities for us all. Stronger together. How could we do this together?
- Risk – We compete for the same limited goodwill/capacity. Looks wasteful/illogical to people.
Pilot project – please come back and tell us how it went – Good and bad.
Tell us early (so pre-meeting) so we can explore opportunities to get involved.
Priority 2: Coproducing DSP outcomes
Join up on initiatives to achieve outcomes.
Using evidence and data to hold conversations and coproduce.
Fix barriers such as data sharing.
Priority 3: Inter-dependence
Being more responsible personally to support each other and self.
Liberating not empowering.
Existing control: we created dependency damaging – need to give back power and responsibility.
Table 4 (Facilitator: Roland Pyle)
Representatives from: Devon County Council Organisational Development, Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service.
Priority 1: Local counterparts
Need to be aware of, and meet, local counterparts: people who responsibility for management of local public services in an area. For example:
- DSFRS local risk managers (who each oversee 3 or 4 fire stations).
- DCC Locality Leads.
- DYS Space youth workers.
Priority 2: Awareness and understanding
Awareness by DSFRS of what is being offered by other local public service providers to avoid reinventing the wheel. Understanding by DSFRS of changes to who public services are being provided – eg establishment of Libraries Unlimited and DYS Space Ltd.
Priority 3: Ambition and realism
Need to match skills and strengths. A strength of DSFRS is its focus and ability to deliver rapidly. This needs to be tempered with an understanding of what is already happening in a locality. So there’s a need to match the skills and strengths of different organisations. Shows the potential strength of the Community Unity project.
Table 5: (Facilitator: Alison Boyd)
Representatives from: Exmouth Town Council, Devon Communities Together, Devon County Council Communities Team.
Priority 1: Link roles/locality leads
How can we jointly create capacity? Map the structures within a locality.
Priority 2: Commissioning
Let’s investigate the PCC’s process that was praised by Diana Crump and the Devon Carers model.
Look at releasing capacity rather than increasing/asset-based community development.
Priority 3: Connectivity hub/community partnership
Prioritising the time to network.