Scheme to help deprived communities across Chichester approved

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A fact-finding pilot scheme which could point the way to helping the Chichester district’s more deprived communities to help themselves was given the go-ahead by the district cabinet on Tuesday.

The exercise will focus on Selsey’s north ward, but take in information from across the whole town.

A report presented at the cabinet meeting said it had long been recognised some areas of the district were ‘less successful’ than others’.

“These communities absorb a higher percentage of services from the public sector, so generally cost more, yet they have failed to show a proportionate improvement,” it said.

The project’s objective is to reduce public sector spending by improving the quality of local services in areas of ‘poorer performance’ through a reduction in duplication, and by focusing on things that really mattered.

District council leader Cllr Heather Caird said: “Our ethos has to be helping communities to help themselves, using our expertise. This is rather than spoon-feeding, which we know doesn’t work in the long term.”

Head of policy Stephen Kane said: “What we need to do is get better in terms of agencies working together to reduce costs.

“This is partly driven by a financial imperative.

“We need to be more joined up, and working together.”

Given the resources the council and its partners had, they could only focus on one area at a time, and this was why a pilot was being proposed.

Selsey representative Cllr John Connor said all Selsey members were completely supportive of the project.

“Selsey is one community, but the, majority of the problems are in the north of the town, with pockets of problems in the south,” he added.

The cabinet report said features of areas which needed targeted support included the fact they were all urban, and had much higher percentages of social housing than others.

Other key areas to focus targeted support would be: Chichester east ward, Whyke, Parklands and Tangmere.