The History so far

NORBITON WORKING TOGETHER – The History so far.

 I would like to qualify this report by stating that this is my view of what has led to this point.  I have made a point of consulting with those who have been involved since the project began but this is in no way a formal document.

In the Autumn of 2010 Neville Rainford invited people that he understood to be key members of the Norbiton Community to attend a meeting where this project would be explained.  The meeting took place in December.

In addition to the Community Planning Meeting (above), which is ongoing but has been superceded, for the time being, by the One Norbiton project, it was explained that Norbiton had been selected as one of nine pilot areas  by the Cabinet Office – and the only one  in the south. The pilot involves a review by the Community of public sector expenditure in the Norbiton Ward and, utilising existing budgets, the prioritised services will then be delivered through a combination of service providers, the voluntary sector, community groups and co-operatives. To inform this process a Community Working Group [CWG] needed to be set up  comprising Norbiton residents, those who work and pay business taxes in Norbiton plus those who play an active part in the Norbiton Community.

At a meeting held on October 26th a ‘Terms of Reference’ was agreed which will effectively pass control of this project which had initially been led by RBK and the Equalities and Community Engagement Team [ECET] to the Community Working Group.  We will work hand in hand with ‘Professionals Group’ and the ‘Member Officer Group’ to research what locals consider to be their top priorities and then make decisions about which areas ought to be allocated funding and at what level.

In order to do this there is quite a substantial body of work that needs to be achieved.  Top of this list is the formation and election of a CWG.  This will be complied according to 2 clear groups.  The first will be:

  • Norbiton residents and business owners.  These people are eligible for direct election to the CWG.
  • In addition we have a body of people who do not actually live in Norbiton but never-the-less play an active part within the Norbiton Community or represent significant groups based in Norbiton

To help move this forward, I and several others have compiled the draft Volunteer Contact Forms plus the separate ‘Equalities and Diversity’ forms which we are encouraging every CWG member to complete.  This will provide us with the information needed to begin the process of building an effective CWG.  NB:  Please note that both forms will be kept separate and stored in different locations to ensure that the Diversity form remains anonymous.

During the period from the project launch in March until August there were several meetings and conferences held where the most important aim was to try and establish what Norbiton residents considered to be their top priorities.  To facilitate this there was a ’desk top exercise’ carried out by the ECET team from which they selected 11 key priorities which had been flagged up by surveys and reports in recent years and then created a chart which local residents were urged to utilize during late July/August in a bid to confirm what  present day locals consider to be  their priorities.  Regrettably, this survey included only 150 of the 10000 residents residing in Norbiton.  It is now obvious that one of our first tasks is to work towards involving as many other residents as possible.  Once this has been achieved  we should have a clearer view of what the top priorities are and from there set up sub groups which will hopefully feature both residents who are keen to engage with a particular group and RBK/ Police/other Service providers wishing to offer their expertise according to what the  priority is.

Jill Preston