Area Boards are a way of working to bring local decision making into the heart of the community. There are 18 Area Boards across Wiltshire, with each one holding delegated powers and devolved budgets to facilitate community action at a local level. Residents and local organisations are encouraged to engage with their local Area Board by contacting their local Councillor or Strategic Engagement and Partnership Manager or by attending one of the local business meetings, community events, working groups or activities.
What area boards do
Area boards exist to work alongside other organisations to make things happen in the community. These groups can include town and parish councils, voluntary and community groups, youth organisations, sports clubs and local charities. Area boards wouldn't be able to achieve what they do without these partners working on the ground with them. The Area Boards host regular business meetings, engagement activities, events, surveys and working groups to stimulate and support local community action.
Area boards agree local priorities based on local data and intelligence. They discuss the priorities with their local communities and then work hard with local residents and partners to develop projects that will address them.
An important role of the Area Boards is to provide grants to community groups. There are three main funding streams which include community capital grants, youth grants and older and vulnerable adults grants.
The overall focus of the Area Boards is to:
- develop a strong, well established and highly functioning network of local partners, organisations and residents
- generate an in-depth understanding of our local communities, including the demographics and the issues faced by the residents
- empower and facilitate community led action
- recognise the talents, expertise and knowledge of our communities, trusting and supporting them to co-deliver local services
- ensure decisions are taken in consultation with and close to the residents that they affect
- effectively share data and intelligence at a local level
- provide a local platform for local engagement and conversation
- deliver an opportunity for residents to gain an understanding of the way the council works
- help deliver the Wiltshire Council business plan at a local level with the involvement of communities.