Better Hillfields

In 2002 local residents in Hillfields came together to agree a Vision of what they wanted the area to look like in ten years time.

“Hillfields will be a desirable and positive place to live and work in; a place that people value and where they are prepared to invest their time, energy and money. People will see Hillfields as “the village community in the heart of the city”.

Over the last six years Hillfields has benefited from over £12 million pounds of investment through the Hillfields Action Plan – further details of the European funded Objective 2 Programme can be found in the archive section of this site. This period of investment is now at an end and whilst this funding has left a lasting legacy with a measurable improvement in the quality of life for local residents Hillfields is still statistically one of the most deprived neighbourhoods in Coventry.

The end of the programme has provided the opportunity to review the progress made towards achieving the vision and in order to ensure the progress made to date can be built upon extensive consultation is being undertaken with local residents, service providers and community organisations to re-establish the priorities which need to be acted upon to achieve the vision. This consultation process is called “Towards a Better Hillfields”.

Over 400 people contributed to the My Place survey, with eight key priorities emerging

Addressing antisocial behaviour – including domestic violence
Getting rid of drugs from the Neighbourhood
More activities, sports and events for young people
Fixing up and cleaning up roads and pavements
Safer, cleaner green spaces, parks and canals
A bank in Hillfields
More jobs, especially long term and better paid employment
More community events to bring people together
The development of a Sustainable Communities Strategy for Coventry and Local Area Agreement between Coventry City Council and National Government has also changed the priorities for local service delivery. In order to understand which of these priorities were of most relevance for Hillfields Coventry City Council’s North West Neighbourhood Management working with Regeneration Services undertook a review of statistical information about the needs of the local community. This information is summarised in the Hillfields State of the Neighbourhood Report. As a result eight key outcomes for service delivery in Hillfields have been identified. These outcomes are:

A cohesive neighbourhood with more residents actively involved in decision making
Reduced litter and fly tipping, cleaner, greener, safer streets and open spaces
Higher levels of educational achievement and qualifications, reduced dependency on benefits, better jobs, improved incomes and financial literacy
Healthier eating and reductions on heart disease and alcohol abuse
Lower rates of crime, anti-social behaviour and domestic violence
Accessible services, support learning and leisure activities for all families
Improved housing and housing choices
Increased resident involvement in culture, sport and physical activities across the neighbourhood
Lots of services are currently delivered in Hillfields, which contribute to the delivery of these outcomes. These services have been identified and summarised in the new Hillfields Service Delivery Action Plan according to the outcome they contribute to delivering. The plan lists the agencies delivering services locally, what services they are delivering, what each service is seeking to achieve and the timescale within which the service will be delivered. Some services are delivered by community organisations whilst other may be delivered by statutory agencies such as the Primary Care Trust, West Midlands Police or Coventry City Council.

Developing the plan is one of four key components of the succession strategy developed by the Hillfields Neighbourhood Partnership to ensure the progress made in improving the quality of life of residents in Hillfields is continued. The four components of the strategy are:

The development of a Hillfields Service Delivery Action Plan
The development of a new community led partnership that will monitor and shape the Service Delivery Hillfields Plan
The development of a Community Development Action Plan
The development of a Communications Strategy for the area.
The strategy is known as the Better Hillfields Strategy and it aims to make Hillfields a better place to live, a better place to work and a better place to learn. The strategy will be implemented in September 2009 and consultation is currently taking place within the Hillfields community. The Hillfields Neighbourhood Partnership is keen to hear the views of local people and residents on the strategy and for residents to become involved in the new Better Hillfields Partnership, which will oversee it’s delivery. You can get involved by contacting North West Neighbourhood Management on 02476 788 500 or by contacting Working Actively To Change Hillfields on 024 76 550 563.