The Take Part Pathfinder programme and links to NI4

The Take Part Pathfinder is funded under a what was a Labour government programme and is required to report on indicators introduced following the publication of the Local Government White Paper Strong and Prosperous Communities. National Indicator 4 (NI4) measures the percentage of people who feel that they can influence decisions in their area. The Take Part Pathfinder aimed to assist the four Black Country boroughs to deliver on NI4.

The Black Country as a whole faced challenges to improve NI4 scores following publication of the Place Survey results, with Walsall receiving one of the worst scores for a Metropolitan Authority.  Collaboration at a sub regional level was a helpful instrument in improving the actual and perceived level of influence of individuals and organisations.

Two members of the Black Country Take Part Pathfinder core delivery group attended a regional NI4 delivery group to ensure that links are made between the two areas of work. Wolverhampton City Council is also a member of the Network of Empowering Authorities and therefore sharing and influencing good practice amongst member authorities, many of whom have N14 as part of their LAA.


Wolverhampton Partnership (Wolverhampton’s Local Strategic Partnership) refreshed their Community Engagement Strategy and accompanying three year action plan in January 2009. The action plan sets out the Partnership’s and individual partners ambitions to develop community engagement in the city over the next three years. In addition, it will support delivery of:

The action plan sets out an ambitious programme of activities to be delivered by March 2011 which is centred on five key community engagement outcomes. Delivery of the Black Country Pathfinder is one of the activities outlined. In particular, reference is made to the learning programme and the continued development of the tools ‘Voice’ and ‘Echo’, which will increase community influence and public sector responsiveness. There was interest from both Wolverhampton City Council and Wolverhampton PCT in working with Voice and Echo.


Walsall has 3 strands of empowerment and engagement activity to deliver the priority in its Sustainable Community Strategy of creating strong and dynamic communities:


Dudley Community Partnership (Dudley’s Local Strategic Partnership) agreed a Comprehensive Community Engagement Strategy in late 2009, and an action plan for a programme of training and support, activities to pilot echo, share a council owned engagement database and make links to the Take Part Pathfinder.