Council pilot project to boost quality of life in Sutton deemed a success

Ashfield District Council offices.
Ashfield District Council offices.

An Ashfield pilot scheme to improve quality of life for residents in socially-challenged areas - and reduce demand on council services - could result in major financial savings.

A ‘support team’ has been working in the New Cross area of Sutton since September 2014 after it was recognised as having persistently high levels of demand for council, police and health services.

Ashfield District Council teamed up with the police, fire service, neighbouring local authorities and others to form the support team, which addresses residents’ problems as a whole rather than seeing people referred to different agencies for different issues.

The results of the pilot scheme are to be presented to members of the council’s Cabinet on Thursday.

These show that up to £2.75 million of public sector money could be saved by 2017 if the savings made in the 16 cases that have been fully evaluated are applied to all 115 cases the support team has worked on so far. The report states that ‘for every £1 spent, £7 could be saved’.

The savings are due to drops in the demand for council services and crime and anti-social behaviour.

It is now being is proposed that the scheme is rolled out to Broomhill in Hucknall.

Councillor Nicolle Ndiweni, portfolio holder for community safety and engagement, said: “The initial evaluation has shown improvements in quality of life for residents and the potential to save taxpayers’ money, long term.

“Following the success of the pilot to date, the council is keen to continue with the evaluation of this programme in New Cross, as well as to broaden out the scope by setting up a similar project in Broomhill, so more residents can reap the benefits of more innovative and joined-up services,” Coun Ndiweni added.