In Practice: Creating a community powered county

About the project

Warwickshire County Council came to New Local with a big ambition: to create a community powered county. We began working together in 2021 to shape a compelling strategy, underlying narrative and delivery model which puts people and communities at the heart of the Council’s work. We continue to partner with Warwickshire County Council as it implements a community powered approach, including collaborating with partners across the county.

“New Local have been an excellent partner for the Council, working with us and our partners to embed community power at the centre of how we do things in Warwickshire.”

Rob Powell, Strategic Director for Resources, Warwickshire County Council

How we did it

  • Facilitating deliberative workshops with elected members, senior leadership team, staff, partner organisations, and businesses
  • Hosting two Big Conversation events, bringing together over 80 partners from across the public, private, voluntary, community and social enterprise sectors
  • Supporting the early development of practical community-powered initiatives
  • Facilitating a Community of Practice with staff members pioneering a community powered approach
  • Designing a Community Power Evaluation Framework (in collaboration with PPL) to align the Council’s metrics to its community focused aspirations
  • Shaping a shared narrative for the county’s community powered approach with flexibility in its applications to allow for diverse local contexts across the county

What was achieved

Warwickshire County Council has adopted Community Powered Warwickshire as a core part of its operating model. It has agreed a Delivery Plan setting out ten commitments towards being a community powered county, it has aligned its work across a number of policies and strategies including embedding Community Power in its Levelling Up approach, it is implementing six ‘groundbreaker’ projects (applying community powered working to, for example, highways, community supermarkets and town centre regeneration) and has launched a Social Fabric Fund to support community-led initiatives.

At the heart of its approach is the involvement of communities in decision making, working alongside communities to take practical action, and enabling communities to lead. Warwickshire County Council is continuing to work with partners from all sectors to shape how Stepping Forward to a Community Powered Warwickshire can best be applied to their context.

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