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Neighbourhood Taskforces in London

Author: Cate Newnessmith
Published Date: 19 February 2008

The Neighbourhood Taskforce concept is a new model being developed by the Young Foundation for tackling entrenched local-level conflict in areas where community capacity is low.

The Neighbourhood Taskforce concept is a new model being developed by the Young Foundation for tackling entrenched local-level conflict in areas where community capacity is low and where public services have difficulty engaging residents and neighbourhood groups. Neighbourhood Taskforces will work in two communities in London, the Chestnut Estate in Haringey, North London and Limehouse, part of Tower Hamlets in East London. In both cases the Taskforce will bring together public authorities, community groups and residents to develop a plan to tackle a specific neighbourhood problem that has previously caused tension in the area. The Taskforce will be time-limited aiming to develop a realistic action plan with commitment from the stakeholders involved. It is designed to tackle the identified issue, as well as increase community engagement in partnership activity with public agencies. The Neighbourhood Taskforce in Limehouse has now been established, and has met for the first time. It is examining issues around youth employment pathways and increasing opportunities for contact between individuals in the community.

Tower Hamlets Limehouse, part of Tower Hamlets in East London, has experienced a huge transformation over the past fifteen years since the development of the adjacent Canary Wharf. This has lead to many changes in the types of property and businesses that have developed in the area. Like other parts of East London, Limehouse has an extremely diverse population in terms of the age of the population, its ethnic background and its levels of prosperity. The local authority, through consultation with the local community has identified employment opportunities for local young people as one of its top priorities, and one of the major themes of this Taskforce might be how to harness the capacity of the community to better enable local young people find the jobs they want.

The Tottenham High Road in Haringey has been identified as one of the government Growth Areas which will mean a huge influx of investment and development over the coming years. The Haringey Taskforce will initially examine issues around what community facilities exist already, who uses them and what the implications of future development might be.

Haringey In Haringey our initial research phase is complete, including a mapping exercise for the Neighbourhood Management team. At present the Neighbourhood Taskforce is being established.

Where did the idea come from? The Young Foundation has developed this model drawing on the experience of practical work withfifteen local authorities as part of the Transforming Neighbourhoods programme. The Taskforce has been devised as a solution to tackling service delivery problems and improving community engagement in neighbourhoods where there are entrenched problems and limited community capacity.