Localities and communities

We want to empower local people to have more control and influence over what happens in their local area.

We help communities to identify their own priorities and get involved in the design and delivery of services. We also give them the support, advice and expertise to help them achieve their ambitions.

We work with our colleagues in the district and borough councils, police and health as well as in the voluntary and community sector to provide this support.

We work with both common interest communities and communities based in a certain area. 

Across Suffolk we have helped communities to:

  • take on the running of community centres, parks and playing fields
  • deliver services such as youth clubs and local transport services
  • take greater control over how their local area develops through parish and neighbourhood planning. 

Place-based working

There are a number of areas in Suffolk where we are working with local communities, their representatives and our public sector partners to:

  • get a better understanding of local needs and resources
  • develop new ways to support people to help themselves
  • encourage service providers to work in a more joined up way

These include:

Community led planning

A number of communities in Suffolk are seeking to influence how their local area develops by producing a ‘community led plan’. Many places in Suffolk have developed a parish plan or undertaken a village review as a way of identifying local priorities and a plan of action to achieve their ambitions.

We work closely with Community Action Suffolk and the district and borough councils to support communities wanting to produce their own community plan.

Several communities are now making use of the powers introduced by the Localism Act 2011 to produce a neighbourhood development plan. These documents have formal status in the planning system and are used to help determine planning applications.

If you are interested in a neighbourhood development plan you should contact your Local Planning Authority (the seven district and borough councils plus the Broads Authority). There is further advice for planning and development in Suffolk on Planning, waste and environment.

You can also contact us if your plan relates to any services that are provided by Suffolk County Council. We would welcome the opportunity to discuss proposals at an early stage in the plan’s preparation. Our services include:

  • Highways and transport
  • Education (including pre-schools)
  • Surface Water Management
  • Social Care
  • Archaeology
  • Fire and rescue
  • Libraries
  • Waste Infrastructure

Working with communities of interest

Find out about:

Local Area Coordination in Suffolk

Local Area Coordinators are a single, local point of contact, working with people of all ages with mental health conditions, physical disabilities, learning disabilities and older people.

We support individuals to achieve their vision for a good life and, in doing so, improve their resilience and reduce demand for high cost, long-term services.  

Local Area Coordinators:

  • take time to build relationships and get to know people, supporting their vision for a good life, developing their plans for getting there and identifying their gifts, strengths and skills 
  • support people to be heard and to make choices, empowering people to self-advocate (or advocating where necessary) to ensure that people are in control of their lives and decisions 
  • build on a person’s connections with their family, friends and community. We contribute to building inclusive communities by encouraging and forming connections between people and building on what local businesses, community, voluntary and third sector organisations have to offer 
  • find practical, non-service ways of helping people move towards their vision of a good life.  And, if necessary, support people to access appropriate voluntary sector agencies and, as a last resort, appropriate statutory services 
  • enable people to influence, and ultimately change, ‘the system’, based on in-depth, local knowledge of people and communities, breaking down the barriers and silos between services by taking a holistic view of people and communities. 

For more information on introductions, please contact the Local Area Coordinator for your area:

Joseph Young

Beccles and Worlingham

Email: joseph.young@suffolk.gov.uk

Phone: 07712 421894

Holly Granville

Benhall, Kelsale-Cum-Carlton, Leiston-Cum-Sizewell, Middleton, Saxmundham, Sternfield & Theberton

Email: holly.granville@suffolk.gov.uk

Phone: 07860 824060

Armed Forces Community Covenant

The Suffolk Armed Forces Community Covenant is an agreement of a voluntary pledge of mutual support between a civilian community and its local armed forces.

It's aim is to strengthen links between the community and local armed forces personnel, their families and service veterans.

The covenant aims to:

  • encourage local communities to support the armed forces community in their areas
  • nurture public understanding and awareness about the issues affecting the armed forces community
  • recognise and remember sacrifices made by the armed forces
  • promote activities which help integrate the armed forces community into local life
  • encourage the armed forces to help and support the wider community through participation in events, joint projects and other forms of engagement

The covenant was established in October 2012 and includes Suffolk County Council, all the local authorities, voluntary and community sector organisations and armed forces units (regular or reserve) stationed in or linked to the county.

The Suffolk Military Covenant is a website dedicated to the covenant and includes further information on initiatives and partners. 

A useful contact is John Ogden John.Ogden@suffolk.gov.uk the Armed Forces Covenant Commissioner.

You can also find out more by contacting militarycovenant@suffolk.gov.uk.

Useful contacts

Christine Geeson – Head of Localities and Partnerships, email christine.geeson@suffolk.gov.uk

Andy Cuthbertson – Communities and VCS Lead, email andrew.cuthbertson@suffolk.gov.uk

Rachael Metson – Localities Officer, Suffolk Coastal and Waveney, email rachael.metson@suffolk.gov.uk

Colin Baldwin – Localities Officer, Babergh and Mid Suffolk, email colin.baldwin@suffolk.gov.uk

Claire Prosser – Localities Officer, Ipswich, email claire.prosser@suffolk.gov.uk

Michael Attwood – Localities Officer, West Suffolk, email michael.attwood@suffolk.gov.uk


View the Local Area Coordination Network website.

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