COOTE Anna, BUA Adrian
Reports on the work of the Southwark and Lambeth Early Action Commission which was set up to explore ways of taking local early action and preventative measures to improve people’s quality of life and reduce pressure on public services. The Commission carried out a review of local strategy, policy and practice; explored more than 30 examples of good practice in the two boroughs and further afield; and engaged with local residents and community-based groups and with other experts, through workshops and interviews. The Commission found the underlying causes of most social problems could be traced to the same social and economic challenges. Although some of these challenges, such as poverty and inequality were linked to national policy, making it hard to tackle them locally areas were identified where local early action could be effective in prevent problems. The Commission identified four goals for early action in Southwark and Lambeth: developing resourceful communities, where residents and groups act as agents of change; preventative places, where the quality of neighbourhoods has a positive impact on how people feel and enables them to help themselves and each other; strong partnerships between organisations; and where local institutions support early action. Case studies of good practice to support the report’s recommendations for prevention and early action are included.