West Berkshire Council

Community Conversations help Build Communities

Building Communities Together is a combined team of people from West Berkshire Council and Thames Valley Police.

2017 - Building Communities Together Team

Issued on: 23 August 2017

They work with communities to cover a wide range of areas from Devolution to Emergency Planning to Anti-Social Behaviour and to help them to help themselves.

A large part of this is getting communities to talk about issues or ideas they have with both  Building Communities Together (BCT) and other members of the community. Community Conversation events are already up and running across West Berkshire and the simple action of getting people together is producing brilliant results. Often, when everyone gets together, we find that communities already have great things in place that can be quite simply built upon to maximise their potential and success.

Richard Littledale, Minister of the Baptist Church , Newbury said: "Our first community conversation in Newbury turned out to be not just a conversation , but a celebration - of all that is good about living here. As people talked, ideas began to emerge about what we could do to enhance our community.

"Communities want facilities, of course - but they also want to facilitate. A lively and engaging community conversation can uncover all kinds of untapped potential which already existed in the community. People want not only a say, but a hand, in developing their communities."

BCT harnesses the power of the collective to get things done. It takes a proactive approach, favouring restorative practice and early intervention rather than waiting until something has broken down (be it a relationship or a service).

It's a different way of working and that's why it's working across West Berkshire.

Susan Powell, Building Communities Team Manager said: "Every problem cannot be resolved, but BCT take a common sense and practical approach to help communities to think and act differently in order to achieve common goals. There is no magic wand and no two communities are the same. However, every community has the power to bring about positive change."

If you're interested in having a Conversation within your community, please call Susan Powell on 07881 856801 or email Safer@westberks.gov.uk. Find out more about Building Communities Together.