Funding fears as Filton no longer qualifies as a ‘Priority Neighbourhood’

January 12 2016

Filton no longer qualifies as a ‘priority neighbourhood’ - raising fears that funding for vital services could be lost.

Filton no longer qualifies as a ‘priority neighbourhood’ - raising fears that funding for vital services could be lost.

South Glos Council has yet to make a decision on formally changing the status and discussions will now take place with key partners in the area.

Town council chairman Darryl Collins, while welcoming the improvements which have led to the change in status, said he feared that some areas which have problems could see vital services lost. He said there could be concerns for youth club provision and the Sure Start parents’ facility in Conygre ward.

Other services which have resulted from the status include the Credit Union and the domestic violence drop-in facility.

Filton’s is one of six areas in South Glos with ‘Priority Neighbourhood’ status - Patchway is another.

Priority Neighbourhood Status is given in “areas where higher numbers of people don’t achieve their full potential, have poorer health outcomes, are employed in less well paid jobs or are unemployed and there are higher levels of crime.”

This might mean an area has issues in certain areas leading to the town as a whole failing to reach regional averages.As a result of Filton’s status, work with Southern Brooks Community Partnership in a wide range of social interventions led to improvements across the town.

A South Glos spokesperson said: “Thanks to the hard work of many, led by Southern Brooks Community Partnership who are the leaders in coordinating the programme in the area, Filton no longer meets the criteria for being a priority neighbourhood. This is a real success story that we are aiming to repeat over time in our other priority neighbourhood areas.

“No decision has been made about whether to formally change the status of Filton as a priority neighbourhood. Any such decision would be taken by the council along with its partners, including the Local Strategic Partnership (LSP).

“We are currently meeting with all the groups leading work in each of the priority neighbourhoods, including those who have contributed so much to improving outcomes in Filton.

“Following these discussions, we will be able to share the lessons from Filton’s success to help in other areas.

“We are assessing progress in all of our priority neighbourhoods and we will share the findings of this work with our partners. We will then work together on an updated strategy to tackle the outstanding issues in our priority neighbourhoods.”

At the last meeting of Filton Town Council, there were hopes that if the status were to be lost, it would be phased out gradually to avoid a sudden impact.

One councillor, who asked not to be named, said: “This would have a huge effect on funding.”