Given the need to deliver the outcomes agreed within the LAA the main thrust was to commission specific WNF supported interventions in line with the LAA’s priorities.
Funding was allocated in a fair and transparent manner to partnerships who committed to delivering particular outcomes through innovative projects. Open bidding against a pot of money could leave elements to chance, therefore it was tightly focused on an evidence based need. However, in certain areas e.g. Community Chest (which is part funded by WNF) there werer opportunities to bid for resources.
Opportunities were provided for community and third sector organisations to be proactively involved in developing and leading on projects, for example the Birmingham Environmental road map recycling project was led by charity, Ladywood Furniture Project.
Be Birmingham, as the Local Strategic Partnership, played a key role in bringing partners together to coordinate action on worklessness through joined-up, innovative solutions particularly focusing on the most deprived neighbourhoods to overcome barriers to employment for the most disadvantaged communities. A multi-agency partnership approach was used to deliver this ambitious programme and ensure that sustainable outcomes were achieved for all of Birmingham’s neighbourhoods.
There was a proactive drive to pursue the development of community-led, neighbourhood specific approaches by actively engaging those individuals adversely vulnerable to the risk of worklessness and furthest away from the labour market including the long-term unemployed, ethnic minorities and people with disabilities.
The WNF was allocated to Birmingham on a three-year basis, thus there are no annual targets for spending. The main allocations for the three years were initially agreed by the Accountable Body at its meeting in May 2008 and March and July 2009.
Performance management of WNF was an integral part of Be Birmingham’s function. There was a clear commitment to ensure all project leads were accountable for achieving agreed outcomes through regular monitoring of financial and output measures.
Monitoring meetings were carried out quarterly with Business Plan leads to track progress and discuss potential issues that may arise.