Bradford Council’s commendable efforts, in collaboration with various partners, to enhance the quality of life and combat anti-social behaviour in the Little Horton area have garnered praise in a national report.

Local Trust, the charity responsible for delivering the Big Local National Lottery Community Fund, conducted the report, focusing on “the impact of resident-led neighbourhood initiatives in deprived communities.” The hope is that the report’s findings will shape policy decisions at both central and local government levels.

Little Horton stands out as an area where professionally-led neighbourhood initiatives have successfully instilled a sense of pride and contributed to a reduction in anti-social behaviour.

The collaborative support from Bradford Trident, Better Start Bradford, the Community Council, and council ward officers from the Neighbourhood Support Service is instrumental in the area’s success. The report notes that Little Horton benefits from a “hyper-local, joined-up approach to the delivery of services and initiatives aimed at improving livability.”

An illustrative example is the BD5 in Bloom initiative, demonstrating the cultivation of pride in the community. The event, now an annual contest, resulted from coordinated planning among ward officers, a residents’ steering group, council representatives, businesses, and community organizations. Local green spaces have been revitalized, and the council has endorsed the development of voluntary and community sector-led growing spaces, such as those at the West Bowling Centre and Shine@StStephens, along with trips outside the district to foster an interest in gardening and horticulture.

The report highlights an effective ‘community calming’ exercise leading up to the 2022 bonfire night, credited with reducing anti-social behaviour. Ward officers collaborated with the community to convey key messages to schools and local groups, discouraging such behaviour. On the night itself, volunteers patrolled hotspots, sharing incident information via WhatsApp groups with the council and police. Faith-based organizations, teachers, and voluntary groups organized council-funded alternative diversionary activities in community hubs.

Cllr Abdul Jabar, Portfolio Holder for Neighbourhoods and Community Safety, said: “Our ward officers and the wider Neighbourhoods and Community Service do some amazing work across the district. So, this recognition for Little Horton in a national study on the value of such work is fantastic. Huge credit to all involved here, whether they are from the council, residents’ groups, community organisations or partner agencies.”