Identifying community needs
The Place Shaping Programme is delivered by Medrwn Môn in partnership with Is le of Anglesey County Council and works with local communities to create comprehensive asset maps and to establish community-based alliances to work with statutory bodies to prioritise where spending should be targeted to identified community needs.
Alliances are established to cover electoral wards in the island and the aim is to have an alliance in each of the 11 wards over the next 18 months. The Place Shaping Programme successfully established the Seiriol Alliance in 2014, the Twrcelyn Alliance in 2019 and the Llifon and Lligwy Alliances more recently in 2021.
Alliances bring together community groups, individuals, volunteers, town and community councils, local businesses and anyone interested in working together to make the areas that they live and work in more independent and resilient.
Alliance areas are mapped using an asset-based approach and the evidence is shared with the wider community in order for them to identify priority themes to work on. The work is supported by Isle of Anglesey County Council and seed funding is offered to the communities to create task and finish projects to get them started.
Seiriol and Twrcelyn alliances
With some seed funding from the Charitable Trust, Seiriol and Twrcelyn alliances have been able to set up their own good turn schemes in response to lack of community transport being identified in their mapping evidence.
Seiriol and Twrcelyn were also able to establish community hubs in their areas, using underspend from the Integrated Care Fund. The Seiriol Alliance has since set up a Memorandum of Understanding with Isle of Anglesey Council to aid further and sustainable collaboration.
The document will guide the Pobl Seiriol Alliance as it explores ways in which the community can take on more local responsibilities and commission its own services. This is a first for the island and highlights the type of leadership communities can take through the alliance structures.
This is a model we are hoping that the other community alliances will follow and employ their own staff in the future.
Place shaping uses a number of engagement tools to make sure as many people as possible are able to take part, in the mapping and also in the alliances.
We have adopted and actively promote the National Principles for Public Engagement and offer opportunities for people to take part when and where they feel most comfortable. The methods of communication change for communities of interest and most recently, and due to the COVID 19 restrictions, we have begun using the Walkability Audit Tool as part of arranged walks with our communities.
The place shaping officer organises walks in local areas, advertises them in local groups, on social media and through wider networks inviting people to come for a walk and a chat about their area. The local asset co-ordinators (social prescribers) join the walk with people they are supporting and the walkability tool is used to guide and report on the conversation.
Funding will contribute to the costs of holding public meetings and set up costs to establish community Alliances. Funding will be made available to progress the initial priorities identified by the Alliances. The walkability sessions will continue into the New Year with the findings informing the baseline assessment and age friendly communities action plan.