ARCHIVE: Public services
On this page:
- Defra supports ENCAMS for cleaner and greener public services
- Wiltshire Wheels to Work
- Droitwich Canals Restoration – the public and third sectors working together
ENCAMS is one of Defra’s delivery partners, and is a third sector organisation in its own right. It is also the charity behind the Keep Britain Tidy campaign. ENCAMS’ remit is to improve local environmental quality (such as litter, detritus, water courses, dog fouling and fly-tipping) and related behaviour (graffiti, abandoned vehicles, fly-posting etc). ENCAMS runs advertising campaigns to change the behaviour of the public and works with managers of land to improve their services and strategic approach.
ENCAMS runs around four campaigns a year in England under the Keep Britain Tidy banner, focussing on specific areas of litter and local environmental quality issues that are presenting themselves as an issue. As an example the campaigns run in 2007/08 included; smoking related litter, fast food and a campaign to get people litter picking called the Big Tidy Up.
Defra supports ENCAMS – ENCAMS provides advice and expertise which helps public services provided by local authorities and schools to deliver cleaner, greener outcomes.
ENCAMS runs a number of programmes to help improve the quality of where we live;
An international programme run by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) and managed in England by ENCAMS. This programme works with schools to improve all aspects of the environment through a whole school approach and looks at issues surrounding: reducing, reusing and recycling waste; controlling litter and improving the school grounds; reducing energy and water use; promoting healthier lifestyles; addressing road safety and traffic congestion; appreciating the importance of biodiversity; and considering how decisions impact on local and global communities. Over 10,000 schools in England (almost 50%) are now part of this programme.
ENCAMS manages the Blue Flag award for beaches and marinas in England on behalf of FEE and this year awarded 82 Blue Flags to the English coastline. Blue Flag is an international award scheme which acts as a guarantee to visitors that a beach they are visiting, is one of the best in the world. The organisation also offers an award called Quality Coast Award which recognises the good management and cleanliness of beaches which may not be able to apply for the Blue Flag because they are not a resort beach or because of water quality.
Cleaner Safer Greener Network
This network is subscribed to by local authorities, registered social landlords and other land managers who have a responsibility for improving local environmental quality and related antisocial behaviour. The network allows members to share best practice, offers the opportunity to influence and respond to Government policy, participate in regional meetings, receive advice and guidance, and attendance at a national conference. There are approximately 140 members of this network.
ENCAMS runs over 100 training courses a year to help upskill local authorities and other land managers on a range of topics from practical courses on removing graffiti to more strategic training courses on Local Environmental Management.
ENCAMS employs a team of surveyors throughout the country to monitor the state of the local environment (Local Environmental Quality Survey of England) across a variety of land uses, on behalf of Defra . These results are used to identify specific issues of concern and help prioritise ours and Government’s work.
ENCAMS runs a number of regional and national events to share best practice, inform audiences of new Government policy and offer strategic thinking on various programmes and services offered by ENCAMS.
ENCAMS has a membership of over 120 organisations that work with and support the work of the organisation.
A team of directors throughout England offer bespoke consultancy support to land mangers with a responsibility for improving local environmental quality. This includes selling ENCAMS programmes, market research and tailored monitoring of their area.
Market research is at the heart of ENCAMS work and is used to inform all campaigns, understand new client audiences, and measure effectiveness. Bespoke market research is also offered to clients.
ENCAMS works with a variety of audiences to improve local environments including the public to help change their behaviour, schools to instill environmental messages from an early age and managers of land to help upskill, provide advice and share best practice.
Defra supports the Rural Community Action Network which involves Rural Community Councils (RCCs) across England.
Wheels to Work is a nationally recognised programme that helps individuals overcome transport problems hampering their access to work and training. There are approximately 50 Wheels to Work schemes nationally with about one fifth operated by RCCs. Running since 2006, Wiltshire Wheels to Work is operated by the RCC, Community First. Currently funded by the Big Lottery and Wiltshire County Council, the scheme provides over 20 road-ready mopeds, protective equipment and associated support on a short-term, inexpensive basis to local people without transport.
Since it started, Wiltshire Wheels to Work has helped support nearly 200 people to access employment or work related training (such as Entry to Employment (E2E) schemes). Over two-thirds of those provided with a moped have also stayed on in work or job training having returned their bike back to the scheme. Wiltshire Wheels to Work boasts a 100% sign to local community based saving schemes known as Credit Unions which are also supported by Community First. The innovative link with the Credit Unions schemes has enabled 60% of beneficiaries to purchase their own moped after the loan period.
Wiltshire Wheels to Work connects effectively with wider agendas. In terms of Local Transport Plans it is helping to deliver a key aspect of Wiltshire LTP2 Accessibility Priority relating to Education, Skills and Training. It also helps to deliver on LAA National Indicator number 176 relating to the number of working age people with access to employment by public transport (and other specified modes). Particularly by helping local young people to access work-related training such as E2E placements and through its partnership links with Westlea Housing Association, the project is supporting the delivery of local targets aiming to reduce the number of 16-18 year olds not in education, employment or training (e.g. LAA National Indicator Number 117 which has been agreed as a target in the new Local Agreement for Wiltshire (LAW).
The scheme has strong working links with commercial partners including employers, local rider training centres and moped equipment garages. For instance, the scheme has opened up a previously unavailable pool of employees to over 30 local businesses; and workers who could not previously work certain hours, or get to work on time because of transport problems, have now been able to do so through the scheme. Local businesses have also benefited from supplying the scheme with rider training, mopeds, equipment and maintenance and from selling motorcycles to people who finish on the scheme. The project has also established strong working partnerships with housing associations, JobCentre Plus, Connexions, Wiltshire County Council, and employment training centres.
In 2005, national research estimated that an unemployed person would have costed the economy £639 per month in benefits. By enabling individuals to access employment, reference to this research suggests that the Wiltshire Wheels to Work could save the economy over £150,000 p.a. in benefits. (Wheels to Work: the way forward Commission for Rural Communities 2005). Notably, this figure does not take into account individual contributions made to the economy by individuals on the scheme in earnings, National Insurance, pension and tax contributions.
British Waterways is a Public Corporation and is sponsored by Defra. The Waterways Trust was established (in part by British Waterways) as a national charity in 1999, at that time principally to manage the National Waterways Museums, collections and archive. Following a consultation with waterways stakeholders about the future of the inland waterways, The Waterways Trust’s aim became that of the UK waterway network being revitalised, valued, supported and enjoyed by people from across the community. British Waterways contracts The Waterways Trust to run and manage the National Waterway Archive and three waterways museums across the country. British Waterways and The WaterwaysTrust also work closely on funding partnerships to enable the development and delivery of projects large and small including the restoration of the Droitwich canals, operation of the Rochdale Canal and community engagement in the north west of England and Scotland. Within these partnerships, The Waterways Trust staff have been embedded within British Waterways teams, bringing skills in fund raising and community engagement, matching BW’s skills in project management and technical support.
The 7.5 mile (12 km) Droitwich Barge and Junction Canals link the Worcester & Birmingham Canal with the River Severn and are the subject of a major restoration project. The project to restore the canals is being led by the Droitwich Canals Partnership which includes Worcestershire County Council, Wychavon District Council, The Droitwich Canals Trust, The Waterways Trust and British Waterways.The project will cost in the order of £11.5 million. Heritage Lottery Fund (£4.5 million) and Advantage West Midlands (£2.8 million) have been pledged along with £1 million each from the 2 local authorities.
New canal related businesses including the hire, servicing and building of boats and creation of tea rooms, pubs and restaurants are expected to locate along the canals and will generate economic benefit and new leisure opportunities for the people of Worcestershire. The restoration will also conserve and enhance the special environment that has developed along the canals including the creation of new reedbeds adjacent to the canals and the conservation of much of the reed which lines the canals’ banks.
The aim of the Droitwich Canals Restoration Partnership is to create a linear park centred on the restored Droitwich Canals which will seek to conserve and enhance the natural and built environment and provide a range of informal recreational opportunities for local people and visitors, thereby generating economic benefit and contributing to the well being of the people of Worcestershire. Local people are at the heart of this to help ensure the long term sustainability of the canals.
To deliver the restoration of the Droitwich Canals, British Waterways are working with the third sector in relationships across the spectrum of participation. Two of the five Droitwich Canals Restoration Partnership members are third sector organisations:
- the Droitwich Canals Trust as lease holders of the canal and the group who have been campaigning and delivering the canals’ restoration since 1972
- The Waterways Trust are a national charity who promote and deliver access to waterways. They lead on the fundraising for the project, engaging with a number of other third sector organisations, charities and voluntary groups.
Beyond the Partners, a variety of voluntary groups have been involved with practical and planning tasks to make the restoration possible.
Whilst waterway focused groups and individuals have been the foundation of those involved and are part of the Partnership mentioned above, increasing number of wider interest and community groups are becoming engaged:
- Young people from v have been involved with repainting a food bridge. Focused around the young people’s planning of the activities, the charity aims to build the capacity of young people (16-26 year olds).
- A county wide environmental volunteering charity – Duckworth Worcestershire Trust helped with more specialist vegetation management (spraying) and clearance work.
- A number of local and national charitable trusts have been involved with providing funding for the project
- Key local third sector organisations have been consultees in the planning process and have included, for example, the Civic Society and Industrial Archaeology and Local History Society.
Induction and training is delivered relevant to the task undertaken and volunteers are supported and recognised in a number of ways locally. A key output of the project skills development, focusing both around volunteers and paid staff of the public and third sector partners. The engagement is managed principally by a core group of British Waterways staff working with paid staff from Droitwich Canals Trust and The Waterways Trust, recognising that each different member of the partnership bring specific skills and benefits to being a member.
This is a true symbiotic relationship both sector helping each other.
The partnership has established a series of delivery groups focusing around differing aspects of the project, education, heritage and environment, volunteering etc. and third sector partners, beyond the principle Partnership, are key to these groups.
The restoration project benefited from the vast knowledge and skill base within the third sector organisations with which we worked. Professional architects volunteers to assist with recording and researching the built heritage of the waterway before restoration. This helped inform the planning of the restoration as well as promoting the project beyond those already involved with it.
As the Droitwich Canals restoration has been campaigned for and, in part, delivered by third sector organisations over the past 35 years, the change of pace and focus on contract delivered works risked alienating those already engaged with the process. To ensure this did not happen specific dedicated works have been agreed which will be wholly delivered b the third sector e.g. Barge Lock.
The key to successful delivery of the long term aims of the project are a continued partnership between the public and third sectors each working to their strengths and achieving mutual respect and understanding of each others strengths, needs, desires and constraints.
The public partnership has been able to build on the work done by the third sector and add its technical expertise in making the case for large scale third party funding.
Relationships have been tested at times when key decisions have had to be made linked to the differing responsibilities within the partnership. British Waterways are the project managers, the local authorities being responsible for land purchase and assisting with strategic planning. The roles of the Droitwich Canals Trust and The Waterways Trust has focused around fund raising, increasing the profile of the project locally and nationally and engaging in practical delivery through skilled volunteer tasks.
The third sector are very much part of the process and solution, having been the instigators of British Waterways’s inclusion in the project and being part of the planning, consultation and deliver teams within the project.
The restoration of the Droitwich Canals is due for completion in early 2010.
Page last modified: 3 November 2008
Page published: 3 November 2008