Category Archives: Partnership

Safer Newport – a local area focus plan

Ahead of our event ‘Working in partnership: Holding up the mirror’, Tracy McKim @Lady_McK from Newport City Council, tells us about the partnership between the Council and the Police following a crisis in the Pill area of Newport. Come along to our events in Cardiff and Llanrwst to see Tracy’s workshop where, along with Gwent Police, she will be discussing in more detail the partnership working to help improve this area of Newport.

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Following serious public disturbances in the Pill area in the Autumn of 2016 the Council and Gwent Police led a partnership response known as the Pill Area Focus Plan.  The Council’s Policy and Partnership team brought together key stakeholders working in Pill including Gwent Police, the Council’s Youth Service, City Services, Environmental Health, and Trading Standards services along with partners including Newport City Homes and South Wales Fire and Rescue Service and a number of other service providers and put in place a wide range of interventions with the aim of:

  • Improving the wellbeing of the Pill community
  • Addressing the crime and ASB issues that concern the community
  • Building the community’s trust and confidence in the key partners
  • Promoting community involvement, a sense of pride and empowerment

Map-Pill

Key actions

The partners working in Pill are focusing on the key issues identified by local people.  Actions to date include:

  • A Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) was put in place by the Council to give the Police new powers to tackle three of the most common forms of anti-social behaviour, namely street drinking, use of psychoactive substances and anti-social gangs.
  • Seven ‘Pill Action Days’ have now been held with Council officers working alongside the Police and South Wales Fire and Rescue to enforce the PSPO, ensure private rented accommodation is safe and that traders, licensed premises and taxi companies are acting responsibly. The Action Day held in June also involved the Heddlu Bach/Mini Police (from Pill Primary School) in raising speed awareness and promoting recycling.
  • Gwent Police Operations Jewel and Gravitas targeting drug supply have resulted in 61 arrests and multiple convictions centred on addresses in Pill. Bikes used by drugs runners have been seized and destroyed.
  • An anti-gang message drama production has been shown in Newport Secondary Schools with a positive reception from pupils and staff.
  • A range of diversionary activities for young people have been delivered by the Youth Service, Newport Live and community organisations e.g. ‘The Bigger Picture’.
  • One of only three Mini Police projects, currently in Wales, is now running in Pill Primary School with an aim of building trust between the police and the community and developing young people’s learning, skills and experience.
  • The Council and other partners have supported the regular community clean-ups organised by Pride in Pill releasing staff to volunteer alongside local people.
  • A diversionary pathway is in place for sex workers to ensure that they are offered the multi- agency support they need, recognising that they may be victims of exploitation whilst also using enforcement powers against persistent offenders and kerb crawlers.
  • A joined-up approach to environmental enforcement has been developed by the Council e.g. closure notices for problem properties in Pill and planning enforcement for an unauthorised dwelling in the area.
  • Environmental Health and the Fire Service have undertaken several joint inspections of HMO properties and have identified unlicensed HMOs as well as safety defects.
  • Newport City Homes are progressing the £10m regeneration of their properties in Pill which will help to ‘design out crime’. They will shortly be opening a Community Hub in the Francis Close area to accommodate local groups and services, with the ‘Bigger Picture’ youth organisation based there.


Improved public perception

At the outset of the Pill project in January 2017, a community safety survey was undertaken so that residents could identify the issues that were of greatest concern, and to establish a baseline from which progress could be measured.  A follow-up survey was undertaken in October 2017 and the results indicate encouraging progress against key public perception measures.

  • The number of people who say they feel very unsafe walking alone after dark has fallen from 64% to 41%  (-36% improvement)
  • People who say that crime and ASB is more of a problem than last year has fallen from 43% to 26%  (-40% improvement)
  • People who say that they are satisfied/very satisfied with the service provided by the police and their partners has increased from 22% to 36%  (+63% improvement)
  • People who say that the service provided by the Police and their partners has got better compared to last year has increased from 15% to 38%  (+153% improvement)

Next steps

We are mindful of the need to make sure that the early progress is sustained over the long term.  All key partners have indicated that they intend to maintain their focus on Pill, in terms of neighbourhood policing resources, holding regular Pill Action days, enforcement activities and improving engagement with the local community.  The Pill Area Focus work programme will now be developed through the Public Service Board’s Wellbeing Plan interventions and Safer Newport. The Pill Area Focus work forms a model for the way in which we will need to work moving forward and in line with the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act – with a focus on integrated wellbeing goals, through collaborative working, with the involvement of communities and mindful of preventative approaches and long-term impacts.

Holding up the mirror together

Ruth MarksAhead of our seminar ‘Working in partnership: Holding up the mirror’, Ruth Marks @wcvaruth, Chief Executive of WCVA, has blogged for us about the importance of working together to better support individuals and communities across Wales.

Looking at life from a different perspective is good for all of us.

Over the summer holidays we sometimes get the chance to visit different places, catch-up with family and friends and make new memories. We also look forward to the autumn and moving ahead with our plans and ambitions.

As Chief Executive of WCVA, one of my ambitions is to extend the meaningful and impactful links between charities and community groups (the third sector) with local government, health and Welsh Government.

Being able to do this in partnership with the Wales Audit Office’s Good Practice Exchange and Academi Wales is a great opportunity.

On the 19 and 27 September there are two events in Cardiff and Llanrwst where partners can come together to look at how we can work together to better focus our efforts on supporting individuals and communities across Wales.

I imagine that there will be some key messages around a common language, respect, processes, tensions and resources. I think the most important aspect is to continue to not only hold up the mirror, but to polish it and make sure we are looking at ourselves and each other with fresh eyes, renewed energy and ambition to do the best we possibly can.

blog imageBy working together, respecting each other’s strengths, collaborating fairly, recognising the real value of volunteers, and understanding the legal responsibilities of charity trustees, we should be able to deliver better services.

From libraries, childcare, GP surgeries, schools, bin collection, swimming pools and hospital treatment – services are provided for all of us and we are all likely to need some type of public service in the future.

Who provides these services, on what basis and in what arrangements needs constant thought, discussion and regular review with the people who use them.

These seminars will be an invaluable opportunity to hold up the mirror – together.

Circular Economy in Wales

circular economyThe Good Practice Exchange is always looking out for innovation and interesting ways of working, so when we found out about the Circular Economy Research Group’s work, we were keen to share.

Dr Gavin Bunting is an Associate Professor and Deputy Director for Innovation and Engagement in the College of Engineering at Swansea University He has written a blog ahead of the RCE Cymru ‘Good To Share’ event we are working in partnership with, to be held in Bangor and Cardiff.

The group has been involved in some really interesting research on how we can reduce waste in Wales, and create a circular economy, which could see Wales benefiting by £2 billion a year. It’s ideas like this that are going to shape Wales for future generations, with sustainable development at the heart of their work. Have a read of his blog below to learn how the Circular Economy Research and Innovation Group for Wales have worked collaboratively, making strides towards achieving the goals of the Well-Being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015


The UK generates 200 million tonnes of waste ever year with almost a quarter of that going to landfill, whilst many of the resources needed for critical applications such as power generation, communications and medical equipment are becoming more scarce.

In addition, most of us have come across the scenario where it’s cheaper to buy a new printer, washing machine, phone, etc than it is to repair or upgrade it. Why should this be the case?

One solution to tackle this excess waste and obsolescence is to move to a circular economy where products are designed:

  • To last longer
  • To be upgraded, repaired and re-used
  • To enable easy recovery and recycling of constituent materials they contain at the end of the product’s life

The potential economic benefits to Wales of operating a circular economy have been estimated by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) to be £2bn annually, for the two sectors of: medium-lived complex goods, e.g. automobile, electronic equipment and machinery; and fast moving consumer goods, e.g. food and beverages, clothing and personal care.

Moving towards a circular economy requires a multi-disciplinary approach, encompassing research and innovation into areas such as: designing products for refurbishment and re-use; developing new materials and extracting useful resources from natural materials; developing new business models that incentivise the manufacturer to design a product for longevity; and investigating how can we communicate the opportunities and challenge perceptions of circular economy.

We have a lot of this expertise in Welsh universities and by working together we can address circular economy challenges. I therefore worked with with colleagues in the Higher Education for Future Generations Group, Wales, the Regional Centre of Expertise (RCE) Wales, the Welsh Government and Swansea University to set up the ‘Circular Economy Research and Innovation Group for Wales’.

I therefore worked with with colleagues in the Higher Education for Future Generations Group, Wales, the Regional Centre of Expertise (RCE) Wales, the Welsh Government and Swansea University to set up the ‘Circular Economy Research and Innovation Group for Wales’.

The proposed aim of the group is to connect complementary expertise and experiences to facilitate circular economy innovation and research in Wales, achieved through the following objectives:

  • Provide a forum to share good practice and facilitate knowledge exchange between academia, business and policy makers.
  • Through collaboration, increase circular economy research capacity in Welsh institutions.
  • Engage with industry to develop industry led research.
  • Provide evidence to inform Government policy and programmes.
  • Develop an online forum to facilitate exchange of good practice, funding opportunities, news and events.
  • Showcase the network’s circular economy outputs internationally, thus supporting the development of international partnerships.
  • Collaborate on curriculum development and training.
  • Work with the Global Regional Centre of Expertise (RCE) network (acknowledged by the United Nations University) to share learning and good practice at regional, national and international levels.

I chaired the inaugural meeting of the group on the 8th June, where we had representatives from: Aberystwyth, Bangor, Cardiff, South Wales, Swansea, and Trinity Saint David universities. Dr Andy Rees, Head of Waste, Welsh Government, set the scene providing some useful statistics and outlining Welsh Government policy instruments for innovation in the circular economy.

It was a productive meeting, where we discussed ideas on how we could collaborate on research, teaching, knowledge transfer and informing government policy. When it came to research it was thought that that we shouldn’t just focus on circular economy specific calls for research funding – there are opportunities for circular economy to add novelty to a wide range of research areas. It was also highlighted that we need to look at how we improve communication of the circular economy to industry and public in order to encourage innovation and change. In particular, linking to competitiveness when communicating with industry is important, as well as focusing on sectors important to the Welsh economy.  The British Standard for Circular Economy, BS-8001, could provide a useful lever to engage with companies and existing academia-industry networks such as ASTUTE can provide an established route for knowledge transfer.

A core aim of the group is to encourage collaboration; this will initially be facilitated by providing a directory of expertise, so members can easily identify potential collaborators for research. In addition, we will also set up a regular email bulletin and a forum for members to discuss areas of interest. To keep a group such as this working needs good secretariat support, which Ann Stevenson from Cardiff University, has kindly offered to provide.

Moving forward, we will hold another meeting of the group in the autumn and will run sessions at the RCE Cymru Conference on the 8th November 2018, in Cardiff, where we hope to have some inspirational and productive discussions.
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If you are interested in being part of the Group, or would like to find out more please contact Dr Gavin Bunting on g.t.m.bunting@swansea.ac.uk, 01792 602802.