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20 February 2017 Written by 

Working Together

Eleven partnerships are bringing private and public organisations together in the St Albans District to work on improving the community.

The groups have a series of aims ranging from turning the area into a globally-renowned centre for green technology to creating job opportunities.

St Albans City and District Council has developed the partnerships to encourage organisations to collaborate on issues of mutual interest.

One new venture is the Cathedral Partnership which will see senior members of the Council and the City's Cathedral meet twice a year.

They will work together, for example, on issues related to the visitor economy such as car parking, planning concerns and events.

This partnership will also consider ways to foster good inter-faith relations and improve the spiritual welfare of the whole community.

An update on the work of the strategic partnerships is to be given to a meeting of the Council's Cabinet on Thursday 23 February.

The Council also has a partnership with the Building Research Establishment (BRE) which is based in Bricket Wood.

They are collaborating on a number of projects, with the BRE giving informal advice on the Town Hall's conversion into a £7.75 million museum and art gallery. It has also been consulted on how best to deal with damp and condensation at some of the Council's social housing.

Another partnership is the Economic Sustainability Information Sharing Group. This brings the Council together with the Chamber of Commerce, the University of Hertfordshire, Oaklands College, St Albans CVS and Jobcentre Plus.

Its aim is to share knowledge about the local economy with particular focus on the labour market. Among the issues it is dealing with are skills' shortages, training, apprenticeships and supporting older people back into work.

For example, Job Centre Plus held a joint event with the Council last year for welfare claimants affected by the Government's cap on benefits.

The Green Triangle is another partnership and involves the BRE, Rothamsted Research in Harpenden, the University of Hertfordshire and Oaklands College along with the Council.

It is promoting the District as a centre for green technology and played a key role in efforts to create a new Enterprise Zone in South West Hertfordshire.

The City of Expertise partnership includes 20 local firms largely from the legal, accountancy and surveyor sectors.

It is tasked with highlighting St Albans' status as one of the UK's leading centres for professional services.

There is also the Visitor Partnership which seeks to promote the District as a top destination and the Community Safety Partnership which works to reduce crime.

Councillor Julian Daly, the Council's Leader, said: "The partnerships enable organisations and individuals outside of the Council to take on leadership roles on community-wide issues.

"It is good, for example, that local business leaders get involved in framing and promoting economic development initiatives.

"Our partnerships do a huge amount of work behind the scenes for the benefit of people living and working in the District.

"They continue to gain improvements across many different areas such as the local economy, education, employment, social housing, tourism and crime. We are committed to continuing our work with the many different local organisations for years to come."

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