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Second Performance Assessment Newcastle City Council 2-6 February 2004

The Review Team: 

David Agnew, Improvement and Development Agency Jan Andersson, City of Malmo Alfons Finkers, City of The Hague Julia Brown, City of Birmingham Mike Peverill, City of Nottingham Davide Bergantin, City of Venice The Review Team

Follow up visit…. : 

Follow up visit…. To establish the progress that has been made by the City Council following the the earlier assessment in September 2002 Identify emerging issues and challenges within the City Governance, Integration and Environmental themes

Leadership : 

The City Council recognises that strong leadership is important and has sought to strengthen community leadership The City Council has vision, ambition and aspirations and is using the Newcastle Plan to focus these Considerable assets (structural and capital) provide opportunities for leading on sustainable development The City Council is reluctant to share and entrust leadership to others Ensure outcome-based targets are in place, wherever possible, for what it is trying to achieve, either by itself or with partners Ownership of and accountability on SD in the City Council is unclear and too dependent on innovative individuals Leadership

Democratic and Community Engagement: 

Democratic and Community Engagement Willingness to test and adopt new forms of governance Community participation is being developed i.e., ‘Area Networks’ Environmental Ward Stewardship is increasing funding (£1m) of local environmental services Together with local residents new housing based on SD principles are being considered LSP Theme Partnerships are established and considered work in progress Other agencies, partners appear unwilling to engage with the City Council A reluctance to ‘trust’ impedes the councils ability to establish effective relationships The complexity of City Council structures, procedures and decision-making hinders community participation The tradition of good ideas/moral leadership outside the council, e.g., Traidcraft and Neighbourhood Energy Action should be embraced A “we know best” attitude and self-interest within the City Council is compromising leadership and innovation within communities.

Performance management: 

Performance management Progress continues to be made within corporate planning and performance process Critical success factors are set and monitored around environmental targets Good work is evident on sustainable purchasing and procurement in Neighbourhood services Neighbourhood Services Management and Envirocall are examples of improving responsiveness to local needs Performance management framework established, but SD does not feed into it The scrutiny function is too service focused - there is limited liaison between individual select committees Human resource processes and procedures do not recognise SD Still a way to go corporately on EMAS and sustainable development SD is not yet fully embedded within organisational cultures, systems or processes

Regional Co-operation: 

Regional Co-operation Newcastle’s future is inextricably linked to that of the Region and the City’s success is now seen as a regional success Newcastle/Gateshead cooperation has been welcomed in the Region The Council is confident and positive about the City’s role as the regional capital of the North East The City Council appears to have adopted the view of Newcastle as separate to the ‘Region’ rather than seeing itself as integrated part of the overall NE region To build a world class city, the City Council will need to co-operate more effectively with other partners within the sub-region

Integration of Social, Environmental and Economic policy – Going for Growth: 

Integration of Social, Environmental and Economic policy – Going for Growth Strong national and local driver for regeneration Provides a clear focus and clear rallying point for long-term regeneration within the city Engaged communities in development Has raised aspirations, hopes and expectations Secured the Pathfinder programme Value of Neighbourhood Information Service Overall momentum of GFG seems to have been lost The commitment of the Council to GfG needs be reaffirmed Potential to lose the investment, time, energy and commitment The initiative needs to evidence more outcomes to citizens Will the end result be Sustainable?

Environment : 

Environment Green Spaces Nature Conservation Soil Water Air Energy Waste Transport

Public Comments : 

Public Comments I have been living in Newcastle for four years and have not seen many things done in terms of sustainable development… Good statements and general policy however much to do on involvement and practice… The council talks a good environmental policy but usually has to be pushed extremely hard to take any positive action… Many good ideas but actual success is limited –as with most of these initiatives a certain amount of momentum needs to be achieved before real progress can be seen other than planned to happen… Action falls short of words… In the last five years or so Newcastle City Council has become far more proactive in its approach to green issues… The diversity of community and talent in Newcastle is great, and is suffocated in bureaucracy and mis-managed projects Still too much emphasis on the use of motor cars as the prime means of transport… There seems to be a genuine attempt to make things happen in the city…


Recommendations Use the real opportunities and potential to create a sustainable city through all the regeneration secure political and corporate ownership for sustainable development following elections “turning commitment to sustainability into reality” Champion internal commitment, understanding and ownership of sustainable development - currently “sustainability is persuasion rather than direction” continue to support and empower leadership within communities built on trust “do not underestimate the capacity of the community” Ensure that the Strategic Planning, decision-making and Scrutiny processes take Sustainability in to account Keep it simple “one thing is clear, nothing is clear!”

And next……….? : 

And next……….? Report in 8 weeks Newcastle and stakeholders provide feedback on the performance assessment process, this presentation and the report Consider how to make further advances towards sustainable development Conference in early September in The Hague

Thank you Newcastle…: 

Thank you Newcastle…

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