Issued by City of York Council

The Leader of City of York Council has today (September 25) announced that York will be the first UK city outside London to throw its hat into the ring to help shape a Nesta community initiative based on the successful US Cities of Service movement.

Launched in 2009 in New York by Mayor Bloomberg, the movement has since spread to 169 cities across the United States.

It is an initiative providing a new standard for how cities can tap the power of their people to tackle their most pressing challenges. It aims to make it easier for residents to play a more active role in designing and delivering services, encouraging communities to become a “core service” for the city.

Nesta, working with Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Cabinet Office, has announced its intention to adapt the Cities of Service model for the UK context and has asked for a small number of cities to work with them to develop and test the model in the UK.

Cllr James Alexander said: “York is already part of the Co-operative Councils Innovation Network which is committed to finding better ways of working with local people for the benefit of our local communities.

“Within this, we recognise the energy and skills that already exist within communities to address the challenges we collectively face.

“Council’s can’t and shouldn’t do everything – residents have said they want to be more involved in city governance and this is a step change in making this ambition a reality.

“I look forward to discussing this programme more fully at the community conversations the council intends holding in every community over the next 12 months.

“For this reason I have written today to Nesta and Mayor Bloomberg to signal our interest in becoming one of the core group of authorities to adapt the Cities of Service model to the UK and to highlight the work we’ve undertaken in this area so far.”

The Nesta programme is providing significant financial support through grants of up to £150,000 for the chosen cities, who will also receive training, mentoring, guidance and a technology platform to publicise and track volunteering opportunities.

 


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