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Council Invites Views on New Vision for Sandwell

Sandwell Council in its leadership role in the Borough has recognised that the time is right to refocus Sandwell’s vision for the future. The Council has kicked off the process of refocusing the vision by suggesting 10 ambitions for Sandwell. It is now inviting local voluntary and community organisations to share their views, ambitions and vision for our borough.

This process aims to:-
• Set shared aspirations for what we want for the borough in 2030
• To drive and focus what the Council does to achieve this
• To focus partnership working and influence others to help achieve the vision

Since January the Council have been engaging with various groups of people in Sandwell to see what they think, including residents in the six towns, businesses, the voluntary and community sector and other public bodies.

The 10 ambitions listed below reflect the rapidly changing world around us that bring huge opportunities but also potential threats. The key message of Vision 2030 is to create a place where everyone has the opportunity to thrive and aspirations are raised. A place where people choose to raise their families and a resilient Sandwell that can cope with and benefit from the changing world around us.

Five of the ambitions focus on creating resilient Sandwell PEOPLE

Five of the ambitions focus on creating a resilient Sandwell the PLACE

The Council is seeking your views:-
• Are these the right ambitions for 2030?
• Which do you think are the most important for Sandwell?
• What are the most important aspects to address in your local area?
• How do we ensure that Sandwell is a place where families choose to bring up their families?

Please take time to complete the online survey and have your say:
www.sandwell.gov.uk/vision2030

Ambitions for People

Ambition 1

By 2030, Sandwell will be a borough where families’ aspirations are raised and that prides itself on equality of opportunity and resilience to change.

Ambition 2

By 2030, Sandwell will be a place where people and families are healthier for longer and are safer.

Ambition 3

By 2030, Sandwell’s young people will have better skills and working people will have developed new skills – giving Sandwell a workforce geared up to respond to changes in business needs and the economy.

Ambition 4

By 2030, secondary school quality will have been raised, and superb primary schools will be giving children the best start.

Ambition 5

By 2030, crime will have fallen and anti-social behaviour incidents will be few and far between.

Ambitions for Place

Ambition 6

By 2030, Sandwell will have excellent public transport links to jobs in Birmingham, Wolverhampton, the airport and the wider West Midlands.

Ambition 7

By 2030, Sandwell will have significant numbers of new homes built along key transport routes and there will be major new employment sites.

Ambition 8

By 2030, Sandwell’s six towns will have continued to develop a strong sense of local identity and pride and will be a better environment in which people choose to bring up their families.

Ambition 9

By 2030, Sandwell will host the industries of the future and will have boosted the best performing companies to grow.

Ambition 10

By 2030, Sandwell will have a national reputation for getting things done, focussing on what really matters in people’s lives and their wider community.


Consultation on West Midlands Combined Authority Mayoral function

Sandwell CouncilSandwell Council would like to highlight a consultation on the Mayoral West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) Functions Scheme that has started and will run until midnight on Sunday 21 August.

Having negotiated and accepted the Devolution Agreement with government, the seven constituent councils and the Combined Authority have approved the creation of a mayoral combined authority. This includes the election of a mayor and the associated Mayoral WMCA Functions Scheme. It is this Functions Scheme that is being consulted on.

The ‘Scheme’ is the legislation that says:
• how the Mayor and the WMCA will make decisions;
• who will be responsible for what and;
• how the Mayor will work with the WMCA board.

The idea of a mayor for the WMCA area is to provide a strong voice for the region. They would also be an ambassador for the area, selling it on the global stage. They would be the point of contact when the Government want to speak to ‘the West Midlands’ and be responsible for driving the Devolution Agreement within government and the region.

The consultation is available on the WMCA website, along with the supporting documents which provide you with all the background information to help you come to a view on how the WMCA and mayor will work together.

You are encouraged to have your say and complete the consultation.


First Regional VCS Engagement Event on Combined Authority


West Midlands Combined AuthorityOur twelve local authorities and three LEP partnerships in the West Midlands continue to move ever closer to a devolution deal and to establishing a West Midlands Combined Authority, moving powers and money from Whitehall to the West Midlands. But what will this mean for local residents, for local authorities and for the many thousand voluntary and community organisations across the region?

WMVCS, a recently-formed group comprised of the primary voluntary sector membership and support organisations across the West Midlands, are hosting a Briefing Event for voluntary and community organisations on Tuesday 12th April, 2.00 – 4.00 pm, at The Church at Carrs Lane, Carrs Lane, Birmingham, B4 7SX.

The event will be supported by a representative from the WMCA and will cover:-

• The rationale for and scope of the Combined Authority
• Its current stage of development and what’s ahead
• The future ambitions and priorities of the Combined Authority
• The contribution of the voluntary and community sector across the West Midlands
• Current and future engagement with the voluntary and community sector

Places are limited and are offered on a strictly first come first served basis.  To book a place follow this link: http://tinyurl.com/jej5wd7

If you require further information regarding booking on this event please contact Debra Hill on 0121 525 1127, debra@scvo.info

The WMVCS – which operates under the strap-line “networking community and voluntary groups across the West Midlands Combined Authority area” – comprises Birmingham Voluntary Service Council, Solihull SUSTAiN, Dudley Council for Voluntary Service, Wolverhampton Voluntary Sector Council, Bromsgrove and Redditch Network, Sandwell Council for Voluntary Organisations, Voluntary Action Stratford-on-Avon, Walsall Voluntary Action, Support Staffordshire, Voluntary Action Coventry, and Warwickshire Community and Voluntary Action. For more information on the WMVCS, please visit www.wmvcs.org.uk


Chance Glassworks – Everybody’s Story

MADEChance’s Glass in Smethwick closed in 1981 but its legacy along with the building is fading.  MADE and Heritage Lottery are looking for extraordinary tales of everyday lives at Chance Glass 

MADE is holding a launch event to celebrate the start of a project called Chance Glassworks – Everybody’s story.   The project will explore the heritage of the remarkable, groundbreaking glassworks that, from its base in Smethwick, created products that had an impact across the globe.  Stories from the cleaner to the office junior are all valuable in building an honest picture of a global innovator.

This is for anyone with an interest in the project and their local heritage: members of the local community, schools, colleges, and community groups.  People do not need to have any particular connection with Chances (though if they do MADE would love to hear from you).

This event will be at the Brasshouse Community Centre, Brasshouse Lane, Smethwick B66 1BA, on Tuesday 24 November from 6 pm to 7 pm. MADE will explain their plans for the project and how you can get involved.  There will be a series of short presentations and then an opportunity to have a chat over refreshments.

A soup supper will be provided.  Please RSVP to pooja@made.og.uk.

More project information can be found here.

 

 

 


Grow Wild

Grow WildGrow Wild is awarding funding of £1,000 to £4,000 to community groups that want to bring people together to transform a communal space by sowing and growing UK native plants.

Apply now to be part of Grow Wild’s 2016 community project. The closing date for applications is 1 December 2015. Successful projects will be awarded funding in March 2016.

Grow Wild are looking to fund at least 60 groups across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.  Please read their community project application guidance to find out more and request an application form.

All funded community groups have a dedicated profile page to share their journey and achievements. Take a look at the inspiring Grow Wild network of 150 community projects that we funded in 2014 and 2015.


Lush Charity Pot Funding

Lush Charity PotThe Lush Charity Pot Fund supports small, grassroots groups around the world working in the areas of the Environment / Animal protection / Human rights.  To apply your group should have annual incomes of less than £250,000 and be run entirely or predominantly by volunteers.

Grants of up to £10,000 are available for projects that aim to create long-term change. For example, priority would be given to a project that aims to stop deforestation (e.g. by challenging the palm oil industry) over one that aims to plant trees to restore an area that’s already been deforested. Projects should also aim to change opinion and behaviour through raising awareness of issues, activism, education and campaigning.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.  Visit the website.


Sandwell’s Anti-Poverty Action Plan Refreshed

Action PlanSandwell’s second Anti-Poverty Action Plan has been produced as a result of discussions between local voluntary and community organisations and Sandwell Council.

A great deal of work already takes place amongst voluntary sector and statutory organisations to prevent or respond to poverty. By working together some new approaches have been identified which will give added pace to anti-poverty work in Sandwell. The refreshed Plan sets out a series of additional activities that agencies will carry out, over and above the range of on-going work to address poverty. This represents a very positive piece of partnership work, particularly at a time when budgets are under pressure and demand for services is increasing.

If you would like to get further involved in tackling poverty in Sandwell, for example by contributing to the activities in the Plan or by joining the Financial Capability Network, the Food Poverty Network or the Fuel Poverty Network, then please contact Leona Bird at SCVO Leona@scvo.info or Heather Chinner at Sandwell MBC heather_chinner@sandwell.gov.uk.


Big Local Safety Awareness For Everyone Event

Grace Mary to Lion FarmThe Grace Mary to Lion Farm (GM2LF) Big Local Partnership are hosting a Safety Awareness for Everyone event on Tuesday 3rd November 2015, 10 am – 1 pm at St James Church, Shelsley Avenue, Lion Farm Estate, Oldbury, B69 1BG.

The event is free and you can drop in at any time to speak to a range of organisations about community and home safety issues.

The event will also see the launch of a new Big Local campaign, set up to help local people improve their security and protect their homes by marking their property with SelectaDNA (a unique DNA identifier).

For more information please see the attached flyer.

To find out what has been happening with Big Local and view the latest copy of the GM2LF Big Local newsletter please click here.


‘Safer Six’ Campaign Seeks Local Community Leads

Safer Six CampaignSandwell’s community safety campaign – the Safer Six – is inviting voluntary and community organisations with a focus on their local neighbourhood or town to get involved in a new winter programme of activities.

Safer Six is delivered through a partnership of Sandwell MBC, police, fire, probation and Sandwell voluntary and community organisations. The initiative focuses on a different town each week, working with the community to identify issues, tackle crime and anti-social behaviour and clean up ‘grot spots’.

With campaigns already established in the spring, summer and autumn (currently underway), organisers are looking for six VCS organisations with a strong local profile (one in each Sandwell town) to take a lead on a winter campaign over January/ February 2016. This would be a co-ordinating role, promoting local VCS services and community safety support, with administrative support and other help provided by local partners. If you would like to express an interest on behalf of your local organisation or community group please contact Mark Davis at SCVO, 0121 525 1127 mark@scvo.info by Friday 6th November.


Sandwell Legacy – Capital Refurbishment Support

Community EventsDoes your community room need a lick of paint or new kitchen facilities? What about a new heating system or electrical rewiring? If the answer’s yes, the housing investment legacy scheme may be the helping hand you need.

They want to help Sandwell’s great community projects by offering some free labour and materials to transform buildings and its surroundings.
So, if you are a voluntary, community or not-for-profit organisation such as a school, charity or faith organisation based in Sandwell and serving our communities, why not apply?

You can download the application form and guidance notes here, send us an e-mail or call 0121 569 2924 and we’ll post or email one out to you.

Please note that there is no monetary value attached to this scheme – only tools, material and some helping hands. Forms must be returned by Friday 27 November, 2015 to the email address above or posted to us at: Sandwell Housing Investment Team, 1st Floor, Direct 2 Industrial Park, Roway Lane, Oldbury, B69 3ES.


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