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Supporting the Essex vision

On 10 January 2018 Essex Partners agreed the key areas of work that we are going to take forward together as part of our work to deliver our vision for the county; The Future of Essex.

Sponsors and leading organisations were appointed for each area of work, and are listed below.

Project 1: Data analytics to support early intervention strategies

Sponsors: Gavin Jones (ECC), Stephen Kavanagh (Essex Police) and Anthony Forster (University of Essex)


  • Support shift to a more preventative, targeted and cost-effective model of interventions
  • Use data to develop more innovative approaches to tackling issues – e.g. modern slavery
  • Address cultural/behavioural issues around sharing data
  • Build shared capability (ECDA model) drawing on the expertise and resources we have including at the UK Data Archive at the University of Essex

Project 2:  Early help to reduce number of crisis mental health incidents

Sponsors: Sally Morris (EPUT) and Anthony Forster (University of Essex)


  • Develop a more whole-system approach to supporting good mental health – this can include issues like housing, social isolation, community capital, physical activity
  • Reducing the demand pressures (on MH services, local authorities and the police) by addressing the causes of poor mental health more upstream.  Scope to use data analytics to help support this
  • Need to make strong linkages with other projects – garden communities, Active Essex – and with the wider public health agenda

Project 3: Supporting a community in building civic pride and social capital

Sponsors: Roger Morris (Bishop of Colchester) and Howard Rolfe (Uttlesford District Council)


  • Needs to be  small scale – i.e. one or at most 2 communities – as it is hyper-local work
  • Need research and insight to help us understand right area to focus on
  • Can’t be a top down approach – needs to be about listening to and understanding a community rather than imposing solutions.  Need also to make sure we are appropriately engaging local partners and politicians
  • May be helpful to develop an agreed methodology for how we approach this drawing on best practice and our experience from existing work
  • Scope to link this to Garden Communities project – how can be design new developments to help foster social capital and civic pride

Project 4: Maximise economic, community and public health potential of new garden communities

Sponsors: Gavin Jones (ECC), Ian Davidson (Tendring District Council) and Howard Rolfe (Uttlesford District Council)


  • Not just about house building and infrastructure but about designing new developments in a way that fosters civic pride, social capital, low crime and public health
  • If we get this right this will impact across all the Vision outcomes

Project 5: Improve educational performance

Sponsors: David Finch (ECC) and Iain Martin (Anglia Ruskin)


  • Want to drive excellence in our school system with the aim of all schools in Essex being outstanding
  • Want to tackle the “long tail” of poor skills and educational performance.  The problem is less our average figures (which are only marginally below national figures) but more the attainment for those from less advantaged backgrounds (e.g. only 16% of children on free school meals in Essex go on to university compared to 40% in London).

Project 6: Taking a whole-systems approach to promoting physical activity to support physical and mental health

Sponsors: David Finch (ECC) and Azeem Akhtar (Active Essex)


  • Using the Active Essex Sport England project to drive a whole-systems approach to promoting physical activity across Essex; and in turn using physical activity as a route in to supporting a wide range of system outcomes: social capital, skills, mental health, public health, social isolation
  • Strong link also to reducing crime and gang activity


Sponsors will be holding two project scoping meetings before the next Essex Assembly on 6 March 2018, at which they will give a short presentation covering what the project is trying to achieve, how it aligns with and builds on existing work, and what they are looking for from partners in terms of input and support.