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Dearne Councillor asks for research progress

By ashley ball, Wombwell/Dearne Reporter Tuesday 27th May 2014
Alan Gardiner

A DEARNE councillor says he wants to see significant progress made by a pioneering community-led research programme in his area or he will appeal for it to be closed down.

The Dearne Approach has been a survey carried out in conjunction with national health and social care provider, Turning Point, to determine how services such as GPs, housing issues, debt and benefits problems affect local people.

Twenty two local people have been trained up and have acted as community researchers, but Coun Alan Gardiner says so far it has been a mostly 'box ticking exercise so far'.

He wants to see work on the actual finding carried out.

Subjects considered have included training services for the unemployed, anti-social behaviour concerns and fears of crime.

He said: "It started roughly two years ago and although there has been some action I feel like more could have been done.
"There are two upcoming workshops and I would like to see a work programme for the next 12 months.

"People are fed up of ticking boxes and I share that view.

"If I don't see anything from now and October then I can't see it continuing."

A Barnsley council spokesman said the next stage will be putting a plan to the cabinet in September.

"The Dearne Approach is looking to deliver community-led, co-ordinated services to an unprecedented level.

"This has meant looking at what is delivered now, engaging with residents to find out what their priorities are, and researching options for how services can be redesigned to meet these priorities.

"This has been a long and complicated exercise which is now nearing completion.

"The next task is to build on the research phase to develop a business plan."

The researchers have so far spoken to with 541 adults and 84 young people.

Their findings so far have revealed that housing issues are viewed as the biggest concern in Goldthorpe, while in Thurnscoe unemployment is more of an issue.

Drug dealing and usage was considered a problem throughout the area.