Following Northumberland County Council’s endorsement on June 16, 2021, a Northumberland Community Safety and Well-Being Plan has been submitted to the Province. Co-designed by an Advisory Committee of local agencies, this plan is the product of two years of community consultation and multi-sector collaboration. It will guide the efforts and investments of partner agencies to address the root causes of crime and complex social issues, improving quality of life in Northumberland.
“The creation of a Community Safety and Well-Being Plan for Northumberland has been an opportunity to build on a strong history of partnership and shared services between local human service agencies to meet the needs of our community,” said Lisa Horne, Advisory Committee Chair and Northumberland County Director of Community and Social Services. “The development and implementation of a made-in-Northumberland strategy for community safety and well-being will promote coordinated action across sectors and agencies to assess and address areas of risk in our community that contribute to crime and complex social issues. Using evidence-based strategies and programs, we will collaboratively advance local priorities to achieve measurable outcomes and improve the overall well-being of our community.”
The plan outlines four overarching priorities for enhanced inter-agency coordination, including homelessness/affordable housing; substance use/addictions; poverty, employment, and income; and mental health. By jointly tackling these priorities, community partners seek to achieve:
- a community that is both safer and more consciously supportive of social development for vulnerable residents;
- agencies that are more coordinated, informed, and efficient;
- member municipalities that have a clear path forward for development that meets the needs of their communities; and
- a lower reliance on incident response initiatives and crisis interventions.
Municipalities were required, under the Province’s Safer Ontario Act, 2018, to develop a Community Safety and Well-Being Plan and submit this to the Province by July 2021. In April 2019, County Council passed a resolution that Northumberland County would lead this effort on behalf of local municipalities. Following the County’s consultation with residents, stakeholders, and agency partners, an advisory committee was established to review this public and agency input, along with key local, provincial and national data-based indicators, in order to identify priorities for the plan, and define related action items.
The Community Safety and Well-being Plan Advisory Committee had representation from service sectors identified by the Province including municipalities, police and fire services, health/mental health, education, social and community services, and custodial services for children and youth. Participating organizations included:
- Highland Shores Children’s Aid
- Rebound Child & Youth Services
- Northumberland Family Health Team
- Northumberland Paramedics
- Salvation Army
- Northumberland United Way
- Northumberland County Community & Social Services & Northumberland County Council
- Community Health Centres of Northumberland
- Port Hope Fire and Emergency services
- Haliburton Kawartha Pine Ridge District Health Unit
- Cobourg Police Services
With the plan now submitted to the Province, the advisory committee structure will transition to a new governance model focused on implementation. The Northumberland Safety & Well-being Collaborative Table will report annually to County Council on the progress of actions identified in the plan and the successes achieved, as well as challenges and new opportunities that have been identified.
To review the final report, along with supporting details, please visit Northumberland.ca/SafetyAndWellbeing.