Norwich churches engage with city council team

CityChurchDialogLogo2009: Norwich City Council’s new Community Engagement Team have met with representatives of Norwich churches at the latest Transforming Norwich Dialogue group meeting in the City Hall Council Chamber on February 16. Susie Knights reports.

Following on from a previous meeting in November last year at which the leader of the council said: “we want to engage with community groups and faith groups are right at the top of our agenda,”, the Transforming Norwich Dialogue group met on Monday February 16 within the Council Chamber of Norwich City Hall and welcomed a visit from members of the new Community Engagement Team employed by Norwich City Council.
Caritas Charles, The Community Engagement Officer for Mile Cross, Catton Grove and Fiddlewood gave a presentation detailing the aims, purposes and aspirations of the Team along with his colleague Lydia Martin.
The White Paper Communities in control: real people real power 2008 aims to pass power into the hands of local communities, generate vibrant local democracy and give real control over local decisions to a wider pool of active citizens.   Norwich City Council have responded by setting a sustainable community strategy with a vision “to make Norwich a world-class city within which to live, work, learn and visit”. Norwich city council wants to empower communities to:
  • Strengthen, develop and sustain opportunities for local people and groups to influence what happens in their communities.
  • Provide opportunities for communities to shape and influence the development and delivery of quality services and policies that reflect local priority and need.
  • Manage and coordinate engagement activities to ensure consistency, quality and partner participation for all sections of the community, particularly people and groups that are often missed out.
  • Listen to communities and ensure feedback to participants about the outcomes of consultation and engagement.
  • Listen and learn from our own and others experiences and share community engagement skills and knowledge of putting the citizen at the heart of decision-making.
medium1Some churches that were present have already received a visit from their local officer and are optimistic that local representatives can assist the faith community in a new and meaningful way offering information, support, advice and signposting to relevant departments and individuals within the council.
There are eight Community Engagement Officers covering seven demographic areas as detailed below.
Community Engagement Officers are:
Bowthorpe Area - Louise Curtis, tel: 01603 212247, email:  
City Centre East - Lydia Martin, tel: 01603 212246, email:  
City Centre West - Emma Penfold, tel: 01603 212381, email:  
Heartsease & Thorpe Hamlet - Jeff Compton, tel: 01603 212216, email:  
HELM (Hellesdon, Earlham, Larkman & Marlpit - Vacant (in the process of recruiting)
Lakenham & Tuckswood - Rachel Gaskin, tel: 01603 212148, email:  
Mile Cross, Catton & Fiddlewood - Caritas Charles tel: 01603 212376, email:  
University & Eaton -  Ermir Prendi tell : 01603 212 927

If you require full minutes from the meeting, please drop an e-mail to Susie Knights at  

., 19/02/2009

Published: 19/02/2009