Closing the gap – helping the people and places of South Gloucestershire benefit from and contribute to economic success
The Partners’ Conference is held annually by the South Gloucestershire Partnership to engage with all stakeholders who have an interest in the social, environment and economic well-being of the area. The Partnership is made up of public, private, community, voluntary and social enterprise organisations who are committed to improving South Gloucestershire’s quality of life.
After the welcome and introductions by Cllr Heather Goddard, chair of the South Gloucestershire Partnership, the conference was opened by Nigel Jump Executive Director and Chief Economist, Strategic Economics Ltd with a key note speech on Closing the Gap: Economic context and outlook giving the broad economic background and regional perspective of South Gloucestershire and key challenges for the years ahead. Nigel also outlined the main characteristics of South Gloucestershire in terms of output and employment, structure and development needs and concluded by raising some questions about what the area wants and some decisions it needs to make.
Nigel was followed by three short presentations which set the context for the audience in the key areas of –
Families in Focus, Early Help and Public Health: Mark Pietroni Director of Public Health and Chris Wilford Troubled Families Co-ordinator – how early interventions and best start can have a positive effect of break negative behaviour cycles and improve the long term quality of life.
Education and Skills: Tracey France Strategic Advisor: Skills on improving education and training outcomes, raising the aspirations of young people and removing barriers to employment, and how doing these can lead to more benefits for all.
How to strengthen our routes to success: Janice Suffolk founder and Director of Juice on how to work with communities to strengthen cohesion and networks to bring social and economic benefits for the community.
After the presentations (and a refreshment break), delegates broke into different groups to brainstorm issues around the themes, discuss solutions and start to pull together action plans.
Families in Focus workshop
Education and skills workshop
Strengthening communities workshop
Feedback from the 80+ delegates was very positive with a record number of comment forms (51%) being returned. Comments ranged from “An excellent event with good input and great opportunities for making links” to “Well-presented; challenging” as well as “It was useful to find out more about the challenges faced by the council and the local community. To improve the conference I feel more could have been made of how the challenges were going to be resolved and who could support in specific aspects” and “Very good networking and partnership development opportunity”.
If you would like any information about the Partners’ Conference past and future please contact Stephanie on 01454 863868 or via Stephanie.firstname.lastname@example.org