In 2010, the British government introduced austerity measures across the country. Wigan, a borough in the north-west, was the third most affected local authority in England. Wigan City Council has faced significant budget cuts and new ways to continue to provide services and serve the community. As a result, Wigan Council created The Deal, an informal agreement between the public sector, citizens, community groups and businesses to create a better district.  Deal for Communities – Big Ideas, Wigan Council, www.wigan.gov.uk/Council/The-Deal/Deal-Communities/Big-ideas.aspx#Abramcooperative The agreement is an informal agreement between the council and all those who live or work here to work together to create a better district.  Strike a deal for Wigan, Paul McKevitt, 24. Avril 2018, Grant Thornton, www.grantthornton.co.uk/insights/making-a-deal-for-wigan/  État des comptes 2016-2017, 2017, Conseil de Wigan, www.wigan.gov.uk/Docs/PDF/Council/Performance-and-Spending/Statement-of-Accounts-2016-17/Statement-of-Accounts-2016-17.pdf  Données ouvertes, Conseil de Wigan, www.wigan.gov.uk/Council/DataProtection-FOI-Stats/Open-Data.aspx In recognition of the challenge it faced, the Wigan Council decided, that it needed a radically new approach if it wanted to continue to serve the community.  Le Conseil a perdu un quart de son personnel en cinq ans, Andrew Nowell, 26 ans. June 2015, Wigan Today, www.wigantoday.net/news/council-has-lost-a-quarter-of-its-staff-in-five-years-1-7329360  Donna Hall: The Wigan Story, 21. November 2018, The King`s Fund, www.kingsfund.org.uk/audio-video/donna-hall-wigan-story  Donna Hall: Wigan took decisive action to avert Northants` fate, Donna Hall, 7. February 2018, Local Government Chronicle, www.lgcplus.com/politics/finance/donna-hall-wigan-took-decisive-action-to-avoid-fate-of-northants/7023140.article  Wigan Council – engaging staff in a new vision, Cat Shutt, 20 April 2017, Local Government Association, www.local.gov.uk/wigan-council-engaging-staff-new-vision The first is the Council`s commitments in return.
The agreement works in two ways. In addition to key measures such as the municipal tax freeze, Council committed to a new approach – friendlier, more open, more focused on citizens` strengths and more cooperative – to its relationship with citizens. Essentially, the board provides more trust and empowerment to help communities improve. To support community groups where many organizations have reduced these discretionary expenditures, we increased funding through the Community Investment Fund, where we were able to ask what more money would do to help the local population. We also organized tours for local neighborhoods to explain what the agreement means in general and in their region in particular. The comments were sometimes lively, but it`s worth showing that we listened. One of our intentions was not to pass on our financial problems to local residents who are already suffering from the effects of austerity measures by increasing the grossly unfair municipal tax. For the past six years, we have maintained our on-site visits, which are only increased by social welfare. At that time, several local organizations began to respond to the needs of those who fell through the cracks of the welfare system.
One, Compassion in Action, began delivering food and toys to besieged families at Christmas. Since then, it has expanded its range of activities to support former offenders, recovering drug users and people with mental health issues. How could the Council encourage more valuable contributions? The most informative aspect of The Deal – and the first and most fundamental priority for any board or organisation looking to emulate Wigan – is the list of factors that have made this shift in relationship culture possible. The role of communities in improving health is receiving increasing attention from policy makers and NHS leaders. An important part of this is the use of „strengths-based“ or „wealth-based“ approaches that foster the strengths of individuals and communities to strengthen independence and improve health. Since 2011, Wigan Council has embarked on a major process of change that includes transitioning to large-scale institutional work, empowering communities through a „citizen-led“ public health approach, and creating a culture that empowers employees to reshape the way they work in response to the needs of individuals and communities. The focus is on building a new relationship between public services and the local population, known as the „Wigan Deal“. There was a reasonable alignment of interests between the main actors involved in the agreement, the Council was instrumental in promoting employee motivation and engagement in its work, while many community groups actively participated in achieving the objectives of the agreement.  Does Wigan have the answer to the reduction in Community budgets in Wales? Sarah Easedale, 19 October 2017, BBC News, www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-politics-41678137 focus was also on strengthening citizen leadership through roles such as community health champions, friends of dementia and autistic friends, as well as supporting social prescribing by community bond workers based in general practices.