Somerset Communities – Changing the RelationshipSomerset County Council

Local Government Community Capacity BuildingService Redesign & Co-designStrategy Development Community Engagement & InsightEncouraging Activism & VolunteeringLocalism

During the summer of 2011, we were commissioned with the Big Society Network to advise on a new Community Engagement Model for Somerset County Council as part of its radical ‘Change’ Programme. The model needed to be fit for purpose for the new environment of ‘austerity’ and help meet Somerset’s vision of ‘Somerset Communities do more things for themselves that were previously done by Somerset County Council or other public agencies’. Bringing together the new policy agenda, best practice, and academic research, we developed a model that advocates a change of relationship with Somerset’s residents in order to provide a step change in community engagement to ensure opportunities for volunteering, devolution, local commissioning and problem solving can all be supported by an increasing ‘supply’ of active residents.