STRATEGY AND POLICY REVIEW COMMITTEE 3 MARCH 2003

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1 STRATEGY AND POLICY REVIEW COMMITTEE 3 MARCH 2003 A4 LOCATION/ADDRESS: RESPONSIBLE DIRECTOR: AUTHOR: FILE NO.: ATTACHMENTS: SOCIAL & CULTURAL POLICY & PLANNING FRAMEWORK PRINCIPLES AND GUIDELINES N/A SALLY CALDER, SOCIAL & CULTURAL DEVELOPMENT CAROL MAYELL ONE 1. KEY ISSUES 1.1. This report presents the Social & Cultural Policy & Planning Framework policy statement of intent, policy principles and policy guidelines for endorsement by Council The Framework provides a context and an integrated structure, from which to develop specific strategies. It aligns social and cultural policy with Council s Corporate Plan framework and its four pillars of sustainability The framework will provide broad, overarching principles and guidelines to inform Council decision-making and resource allocation from , in line with the life of the current Corporate Plan. 2. CONTEXT 2.1. The previous policies informing Council social and cultural service delivery are not aligned to sustainability principles The Human Services Plan and other strategies, such as the Open Space Strategy and the Cultural Strategy have informed this framework but have completed their relevant life span This framework has drawn from these former policy documents and principles. In it s draft form, it has more recently been used to inform the Arts Plan, further development of the Community Hubs Strategy, the Ageing & Community Care and Community Access Service Review and the Children s Services Availability and Demand Report. 26

2 2.4. Other drivers for a realignment of policy includes the increased understanding and recognition both nationally and internationally of the major role that engagement and participation in arts, cultural, recreational, leisure and sport activities and social interaction plays in developing active citizenship, health and community well-being. The Social & Cultural Policy & Planning Framework endeavours to strengthen Council s influence in these areas Council s commitment to a strong service culture that operates on principles of respect, willingness to help and a sound grasp of responding effectively to access and equity issues is also a fundamental policy driver. 3. PROPOSAL 3.1. Council is requested to endorse Part Two of the Social & Cultural Policy & Planning Framework, ie. the statement of intent, the principles, and the policy guidelines The statement describes and clarifies Council s policy intent, whilst the principles and guidelines provide the parameters for action The document will provide the context and structure for specific strategy development addressing the four pillars of sustainability and will contribute to integration of the concepts across the organization The framework s intent is to articulate community values and aspirations as stated in the Community Plan. It also aims to expand the organizational understanding and provide the context for application of the Corporate Plan Social Equity and Cultural Vitality pillars to achieve more sustainable communities The statement of intent and key message of the Framework is that Council is committed to the continued development of opportunities for all members of the community to participate and engage in community life. This intent acknowledges that participation in community life contributes to active citizenship, community well-being and can therefore, lead to a more sustainable community Council s primary influence in achieving this statement of intent is through the planning, promotion and provision of the pathways to the opportunities for participation. The Framework identifies three key pathways that support members of the community to participate via: Key Pathways Community engagement The service system Participation Strategies Create culturally vital environments and processes that foster participation, citizenship, creativity, learning and well-being Develop access to the services and activities that support all people through their life stages, and promote the development of additional pathways to support more complex needs 27

3 Responsive built and open space environments Plan and promote the physical environments that: support a diversity of housing needs; engender a sense of public safety and security; enable people to travel around the city in sustainable ways; and develop community hubs (the spaces and places that encourage social and cultural interactions and healthier lifestyles, and entry point sites for service delivery) The policy and planning principles that guide Council effort are: Sustainability Creative and vibrant community expressions of culture and diversity Equitable access to Council services for all members of the community Inclusion and integration of diversity of lifestyles, backgrounds and cultures Participation and engagement in community life contributes to community well-being Effective and accountable management of Council resources The framework is in three parts Part One is a context report describing the current policy and demographic environment and identifies some key issues and challenges Part Two comprises the policy statement, principles and policy guidelines Part Three includes place management and operating guidelines and the tools for assessing need and resource allocation Part Two is presented for Council consideration. Part Three will be presented to Council in the context of place management and some operating guidelines. Place management guidelines for further implementation of the Community Hubs strategy will be presented to the May meeting cycle. 4. OPTIONS 4.1. Option One: Endorsement of the Social & Cultural Policy & Planning Framework Part Two (statement of intent, principles and guidelines) Comment: Endorsement will contribute to an integrated policy framework that supports the four pillars of sustainability concept. The directions and approach outlined in the Framework are consistent with previous human services, cultural and sport/recreational policy directions and with the Community Plan and will provide a context and integrated structure for more specific strategies. 28

4 The current policy context is fragmented and does not explicitly address the sustainability approach. This framework articulates the overall social & cultural policy intent and contains consistent, transparent and rigorous guidelines and tools to deliver on the policy. This integrated and consistent policy approach has not been evident previously The structure of the proposed Framework in its three parts has been designed to be flexible enough to respond to changing priorities and emerging issues. The policy intent is fundamental to the Local government role and, similar to the Corporate Plan model, should be applicable and pertinent for some years to come. The structure of Part One and Part Three, which includes the place management and operational guidelines and tools can be revised to accord with changing priorities and issues, while the Framework policy could still remain relevant Option Two: Reviewing and realigning current service area strategies Comment: This approach may appear to be operationally expedient, but it continues a fragmented approach and limits Council s opportunity to assess strategy development against a policy framework benchmark. It does not provide an accessible, overarching document that articulates a consistent and integrated guide to Council s overall intent on behalf of the community. It also reinforces a silo approach to planning, promotion and provision. 5. POLICY IMPLICATIONS 5.1. Endorsement of the Social & Cultural Policy and Planning Framework, Part Two sets a precedent in policy development for the social & cultural areas of activity within Council Policy development for the service system is well advanced. The Human Services Plan defined Council s most effective role and its best capacity to influence as a planner and promoter of services. The provider/funder role was defined as being most effective, both resource wise and at the service system level, by providing/funding entry points via universal services such as: maternal & child health; early childhood care and education; and home & community care services, based on principles of access and equity. Council also has taken on a direct provision role of some services, where there was an identified gap or in the absence of other providers who operated on principles compatible with Council s access and equity principles and efforts to attract or establish them had not been successful The Framework draws on this previous policy to further develop and extend the pathways through the service system in order to apply them to the full range of potential Council activity in the cultural, arts, social, recreational, sports, leisure, information, community development and other areas The policy gaps therefore lie in articulating and strengthening the pathways to community engagement and enhancement of the built and open space environment. 29

5 5.5. The whole area of cultural vitality and it s role in community engagement has not been previously addressed, nor has the relationship between the social & cultural aspects of the built and open space environment been fully explored and acted on. This Framework addresses the policy gap for these two key pathways and integrates a Council approach to involvement The draft Framework policy statement articulates Council s intention to ensure opportunities for all to participate and engage in community life are in place. It does this by being involved in the development of services and activities that are targeted to the whole community to support people as they move through their life stages, and to facilitate creative and culturally vital communities that support diversity and value expressions of culture and heritage. Council will also continue to develop inclusion strategies for those groups that may experience disadvantage Council will do this by planning, promoting and providing pathways in partnership with others, that lead to community engagement, to the service system and to responsive built and open space environments, as the means of developing sustainable communities. 6. SUSTAINABILITY IMPLICATIONS The draft Framework is an approach that reduces the negative impacts on each of the four pillars. It expands the understanding and capacity to apply the social equity and cultural vitality aspects of sustainability in a context that considers carefully the implications of economic and environmental aspects of policy directions Social The draft Framework consolidates Council s promotion of access for all members of the community to universal services and activities. It provides the principles that promote inclusion and the structure to target specific groups who may have extra needs or experience disadvantage. The promotion of social interaction and connection to improve active citizenship, safety and community well-being are fundamental to the approach. Economic The principles and guidelines identify the need to consider viability issues and cost effectiveness of service delivery, particularly in an environment of cost shifting and reduced access to capital funding for social infrastructure. It provides policy parameters to future involvement in new service delivery on behalf of other levels of government unless full cost recovery is agreed. The community engagement pathway in particular, recognizes the potential for economic development with various sectors of the community, eg. the creative sectors and the business sector. The Framework does not have any direct increased financial impact on Council resources and does not promote an increase in resources, but rather provides the structure for current and future strategies to consider more effective targeting and use of existing resources or most cost effective ways of delivering services and activities. 30

6 Environmental Environmental aspects are considered more explicitly in the pathways to responsive built and open space environments. Development of community hubs, which take a sustainable approach to location and use of Council sites and design of safer and accessible open spaces and buildings that foster social interaction, are a key strategy. Cultural The Framework is a positive contribution to cultural goals. The pathway to community engagement provides the structure to build on current cultural strategies and develop new ones. The strategies are to: foster culturally vital environments and processes that promote participation, active citizenship, creativity, inquiry/learning, diversity and well-being; and to promote and celebrate expressions of the community s culture/s and heritage. 7. RESOURCE IMPLICATIONS 7.1. There are no direct additional resource implications to endorsement of this Framework. 8. INTERNAL CONSULTATION 8.1. The Social & Cultural Development management and coordinator team have been involved in the development of the Framework. Their input and advice is reflected in the document and in particular the policy statement of intent and principles A Councillor briefing on 17/2/03 noted the need to ensure the terminology was consistent with Council s newly developed policy bookcase concept. Strengthening the relationship between shaping the built environment through social and cultural aspects was also raised. These two issues have been addressed in the presentation of this report and within Part Two of the Framework Some early input to the development of the Framework has been received from the Strategic Planning unit, the Neighbourhood Development department and the SCPI project have also informed the document Further input is to be sought from the above departments, units and teams in the further development Part Three, ie. the place management and operating guidelines. 31

7 9. EXTERNAL CONSULTATION 9.1. Assessment of current Commonwealth and State government policy directions provide a context for the Framework The Community Plan Review community consultation process to date, has reconfirmed community values and aspirations reflected in the Framework The Port Phillip Healthy and Safer Cities Alliance, the SCPI steering group and community consultation process and recent Social & Cultural Development service review community consultation processes have all been considered in the development of the Framework and are consistent with outcomes with these consultation processes. 10. IMPLEMENTATION Once endorsed, Part Two of the Framework will be applied to inform further development of Part Three (place management and operating guidelines), in consultation with other areas of Council Place management and some operating guidelines will be referred back to Council for endorsement in the May cycle. 11. CONCLUSION The proposal is for Council to endorse Part Two of the draft Social & Cultural Policy & Planning Framework, The Framework has been developed to update and integrate Council s social & cultural policy context and to articulate community values and aspirations, in the context of the Corporate Plan sustainability framework Endorsement of the policy statement of intent and principles will enable further development of Part Three, in consultation with other areas of Council, which contains the place management and operating guidelines of the Framework Part Three can then be presented to Council in the May meeting cycle for endorsement to enable implementation. 12. COMMUNICATION Council is committed to further developing the opportunities for all members of the community to participate and engage in community life. This intent acknowledges that participation in community life contributes to active citizenship, community well-being and can therefore, lead to a more sustainable community Council will continue to plan, promote and provide the pathways, in partnership with others, to: activities and processes that engage the community; that promote equitable access to the service system; and that promote responsive built and open space environments. 32

8 12.3. Council is committed to the following policy and planning principles: Sustainability 13. RECOMMENDATION Creative and vibrant community expressions of culture and diversity Equitable access to Council services for all members of the community Inclusion and integration of diversity of lifestyles, backgrounds and cultures Participation and engagement in community life contributes to community well-being Effective and accountable management of resources That Council endorses Part Two of the Social & Cultural Policy & Planning Framework, ie. the policy statement of intent, the principles and the policy guidelines: Statement of intent: That Council is committed to the continued development of opportunities for all members of the community to participate and engage in community life. This intent acknowledges that participation in community life contributes to active citizenship, community well-being and can therefore, lead to a more sustainable community. It does this by being involved in the development of services and activities that are targeted to the whole community to support people as they move through their life stages, and to facilitate creative and culturally vital communities that support diversity and that value expressions of culture and heritage. Council will also continue to develop inclusion strategies for those groups that may experience disadvantage Council s primary influence in achieving this statement of intent is through the planning, promotion and provision of the pathways to the opportunities for participation. The Framework identifies three key pathways that support members of the community to participate via: Key Pathways Community engagement The service system Participation Strategies Create culturally vital environments and processes that foster participation, citizenship, creativity, learning and well-being Develop access to the services and activities that support all people through their life stages, and promote the development of additional pathways to support more complex needs 33

9 Responsive built and open space environments Plan and promote the physical environments that: support a diversity of housing needs; engender a sense of public safety and security; enable people to travel around the city in sustainable ways; and develop community hubs (the spaces and places that encourage social and cultural interactions and healthier lifestyles, and entry point sites for service delivery) The policy and planning principles: Sustainability Creative and vibrant community expressions of culture and diversity Equitable access to Council services for all members of the community Inclusion and integration of diversity of lifestyles, backgrounds and cultures Participation and engagement in community life contributes to community well-being Effective and accountable management of resources The Policy Guidelines: Achieving sustainability requires recognition of the interdependence and integration of economic, environmental, cultural and social factors to bring about community well-being; Sustainable communities are tolerant, diverse, inclusive, culturally vital and socially equitable; Accessible and equitable service/activity options are planned and promoted for all ages, abilities and social and cultural backgrounds; Inclusion and integration in community life and improved access to opportunities for disadvantaged sectors of the community continues to be a priority; Evidence based need drives allocation of Council resources across age groups, communities of interest, neighbourhoods and city-wide; Planning and service provision is based on life stages; Partnerships with other levels of government, nongovernment community sector, philanthropic and corporate sectors can enhance service provision and opportunities for engagement in community life; Active community participation in local decision-making builds active citizenship and stronger communities; Council resources are limited and are allocated consistent with Council policy priorities. 34

10 13.2. That Part Three of the Framework be presented to Council in the May meeting cycle for endorsement of place management and relevant operating guidelines. 35

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