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Enfield Council scoops MJ Award

Published Friday, 06 July 2012

Enfield Council's Scrutiny and Outreach team have won a prestigious national award in recognition of the work done with Councillors to re-enforce their role as elected community leaders in Enfield.

The team is responsible for ensuring that local people who work, study and do business in Enfield engage with the Council and are able to influence local decisions. The MJ Award for Democratic Services was won because of the team's excellent engagement work with the community, particularly hard to reach groups.

Presenting the award, host Nick Robinson, the BBC’s political editor, said: "The judges chose Enfield for the way staff have taken community engagement into the council’s core and linked this with scrutiny and the decision-making process."

Involving residents in decision making, is a priority for the current administration in Enfield, and in order to support councillors to achieve their aim, the focus for the  Scrutiny and Outreach Team has expanded to take in a wider outreach role to engage the community and help councillors determine what their communities want.

Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Wellbeing and Public Health, Cllr Christine Hamilton, said: "I’m delighted we’ve scooped such a prestigious award, it is a testament to the dedication and hard work of our Scrutiny and Outreach team who have worked tirelessly this year to engage with the general public while ensuring decisions made by the council are properly scrutinised."

Enfield Council's chair of the Health & Wellbeing Scrutiny Panel, Cllr Alev Cazimoglu, said: "It's brilliant news that the Scrutiny and Outreach Team have won this prestigious award. They work tirelessly to engage properly with the community and ensure that decisions made by the council are properly scrutinised.

"They play a key role in ensuring that residents’ best interests are reflected in the decisions made by the cabinet and council."

An example of the innovation and key role of the team is raising the profile of the Hanlon centre, a community facility used by up to 200 young people every week. The centre has received funding from the Enfield Residents’ Priority Fund for music and gym equipment which staff organised and supported. In addition, the team has worked to allow a refurbishment and extension of opening hours.

"The Local Authority has been outstanding and with us all the way, enabling the Hanlon Centre to provide the services to the community that it does," said Jack Lyons, the Hanlon Centre manager.

Following a Councillor Call for Action, the Scrutiny and Outreach team have been at the heart of a piece of work in Enfield Lock to improve Health services for local people. As a result, the Council, in partnership with the NHS, will be opening a joint service centre that will provide residents with a GP service, dental service, new library and community space.

Due to the team’s excellent community network links, the Metropolitan Police approached it to assist them in engaging better with the Turkish community to reduce the risk of gun crime in the community.

 A strategy to work with Turkish parent support groups was started with breakfast meetings in a local restaurant. It also included Saturday morning events and interactive sessions at a college.

This included a hands-on demonstration of the dangers of guns from CO19, the Metropolitan Police’s armed response unit.

The police then maintained this link, running a special monthly surgery for the Turkish community in Enfield. Overall, over 240 people from the Turkish community were engaged.

 

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