The initial year of a three-year initiative to ensure that residents in Bradford West receive appropriate support and services from Bradford Council has proven to be successful.

Launched in November 2022 as part of the ‘Strengthening Locality Working’ programme, the Bradford West Locality Plan 2022-25 represents a collaborative effort between The Neighbourhood Service and partner agencies to tailor plans for each of the district’s five constituency areas. These plans are designed to address the unique profiles, strengths, and challenges of each locality.

The progress of the plan will be presented to Bradford Council’s Executive on Tuesday, 9 January, with a request for another update in 2024.

All plans align with the council’s six District Priority Outcomes for 2021-25: Better Skills, More Good Jobs and a Growing Economy; Decent Homes; Good Start, Great Schools; Better Health, Better Lives; Safe, Strong and Active Communities; and A Sustainable District. The inaugural year has focused on fostering community involvement to determine how these priorities can be met locally.

In Bradford West, early successes include initiatives to increase resident engagement with Thornaby Hub on the Clayton Estate. The ultimate goal is to host skills and training activities at the centre to facilitate employment opportunities. Collaborating with Incommunities, the Department of Work and Pensions, and Skills House, the Hub is establishing various initiatives.

To enhance centre engagement, projects such as THRIVE (part of the Warm Spaces Network), free school holiday activities attended by 400 people, and a family fun day in August have been implemented throughout the year. The appointment of a centre manager and 15 volunteers to organize events and activities has positively transformed perceptions of the centre, previously plagued by frequent anti-social behaviour.

Another achievement involves the efforts of a group of girls, aged 11-14, who transformed a Manningham snicket. Collaborating with the Ward Officer, Street Space, and nine girls from Hollings Youth Association, with support from JU:MP, they turned the Hollings Road to White Abbey Road snicket into a safe, appealing space for children and families.

The girls participated in workshops at Hollings Youth Association, shaping plans and involving the community in the project. The site now features painted hopscotch, birds, and the words ‘Start – Testing – Trying – Flying – Take Off,’ along with wooden and vinyl birds adorning lamp columns and fences.

In September, a free health event at the Millat E Islamia Mosque on Ivanhoe Road, organized by the City Ward Officer, attracted 80 participants in three hours. Held in partnership with Bradford West Area Office, Primary Care Networks, and Farnham Community Association, the event provided health checks for conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes. Attendees received advice on healthy lifestyle choices to prevent serious conditions. Health providers, encouraged by the event’s success, have committed to organizing similar future events.

Cllr Mohammed Amran, Bradford West Area Committee Chair, said: “This has been a really positive year for Bradford West. So much has been achieved already in year one of the plan; a tremendous amount of effort, support and creativity has been shown by the teams in the Bradford West Area co-ordinators office. This update shows that we have a friendly and ambitious community here that wants to make positive changes if they have the right support.”

Cllr Abdul Jabar, Portfolio for Neighbourhoods and Community Safety, said: “When these locality plans were launched last year the aim was to provide a framework to better support individuals, families and communities across the district. From the updates we’ve had so far it’s clear that positive steps are already being taken by the Neighbourhood and Community Service teams across the district and the many other partner organisations we work with to start to realise this ambition and improve the quality of life of our communities.”