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Community Plan 2022-2032

Community Plan for South Lanarkshire 2022-2032

Welcome to the South Lanarkshire Community Plan. This plan is for you, and everyone else who lives or works in South Lanarkshire.

Our partnership brings together local and national public, private and community sector representatives to work together. Our aim is to improve the lives and prospects of everyone in South Lanarkshire.

We have spent a lot of time listening and talking to people who live in South Lanarkshire to help us write this plan. These conversations told us that the places where you live are very important to you and that you want to see fairer lives and less people living in poverty. You also wanted us to learn from the COVID-19 pandemic and move forward together to improve the way we do things.  You were also concerned about the environment and how climate change impacts people and communities differently; particularly those who have contributed least to the emissions that cause it; and how we will tackle that together.

These are our key priorities over the next 10 years of this plan, and we explain how we will work together to achieve them.  You should expect to see these priorities in other plans for the area as we all work together to improve lives. 

Finally, and most importantly, within this plan you should be able to see how you are able to get involved and work with us. We would love to hear from you, and we continue to listen to what you are telling us. 

Places for Wellbeing Model (please click on the link to view)

Our Partnership

This is an ambitious plan for the future of South Lanarkshire that focuses on what we ‘Can Do’ more of together, as partners to improve the wellbeing of everyone.  When we talk about ‘partners’, this means  public sector services, people living in our communities, community organisations and businesses.  The focus is on the places where our communities live and on doing what communities need to live well.  Together we will invest in our future through building “Caring, Connected Communities”.

Who we are

Our partnership includes a wide range of national and local organisations. Some of these organisations you will know well.  Our community partners lead on local planning and area-based Community Partnerships.  A full list can be found on our website

What are we trying to do?

Our Community Planning Partners are working together to make South Lanarkshire a better place to live, learn, play and work. We work with each other and with communities to provide the best possible services that local people want and need. Further information can be found on the Community Planning Partnership website www.southlanarkshirecommunityplanning.org

How do I get involved?

There are many ways to get involved in your local community and influence the work of the partnership, for example, through volunteering, joining a local action group, helping to find out what matters in your area or getting involved in how decisions are made.  More information can be found on the Community Planning website.

How we wrote this plan

We asked communities to tell us what is important to them.

Just before the global pandemic, we held an event with community representatives which considered how to have “Community Conversations that Mattered”.  The main messages were that communities should lead the way forward and that the places where they live are very important in making this happen.  From these conversations a new Community Participation Model was created.

Improving how public services are delivered in the future (also set out by the Christie Commission (2011) was also of great importance.  Whilst a lot has changed for public services and communities since then, delivering on these ambitions is now even more important than it was before.

In 2021, over 3,300 people answered our survey about what matters to you, and we had conversations with 27 different groups to find out more. Information from many other sources including local community plans, face to face discussions, online feedback, feedback from Community Groups, Community events and surveys has been gathered to help us to write this plan. 

We have also looked at what matters to people about where they live.  Seventeen communities now have their own action plan and are taking action to improve the lives of everyone in their place, and more are being created.  Looking at all these plans together, the top five areas that our communities want to improve are:-

  • Taking action to create more activities for people of all ages;
  • Taking action to make better use of community centres and other buildings;  
  • Taking action so that it is easier to get around and visit other areas;
  • Taking action to make places look better; and
  • Taking action to make communities safer. 

More information on local plans can be found at Community Planning (southlanarkshirecommunityplanning.org)

The following documents were important to us when writing the plan and tell more of the story on how we wrote it.  Click on the links below to find out more:- (Note: we are still writing these documents)  

The following information sets out some of the story of what is important to Our People and Our Place.

Our People - What our information tells us about our people

To help us target our work to where it is most needed, we use the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD).  This helps us to understand where people on low incomes and those with fewer resources and opportunities live.  There are 431 areas (also known as Datazones) within South Lanarkshire.  Of these, just over one fifth of South Lanarkshire (Datazones) sits within the most deprived 20% in Scotland. 

  • South Lanarkshire has the ninth highest Health Deprivation rate in Scotland.   Around a quarter of all areas in South Lanarkshire experienced a higher than expected level of ill health or mortality.
  • South Lanarkshire has the eleventh highest Employment Deprivation rate in Scotland.  Nearly 10% of people of the working age population are not in work, just above the Scottish Average. 
  • South Lanarkshire has the tenth highest Income Deprivation rate in Scotland.  Nearly 13% of the total population and just above the Scottish Average.

What our people have told us about them and their lives

  • People require basic needs – shelter, food, heating etc.
  • To have good mental health, we need good outside space.
  • More life skills teaching required – money management, mortgages and use of credit. The skills that should be promoted are IT/Digital skills as well as interpersonal.
  • Many people are trapped in doors and live a lonely existence, some not knowing their neighbours. Events, funding, and social activities for all to bring communities together.
  • Need to focus on improving the lives of the many families in South Lanarkshire Council living in poverty through improving their access to health and social care services, improving their digital skills and ability to get on-line and improving access to healthy, low-cost food.
  • Focussing on what matters to people – not what is the matter with them.

Our people and their lives in numbers

  • People are expected to live 0.5 years less than the rest of Scotland, which is lower than the Scottish average. (Source: National Registers of Scotland)
  • Nearly one third of adults have a long-term physical or mental health problem, which is higher than the Scottish average. (Source: Scottish Government).
  • The number of people taking part in recreation activities is lower than the Scottish average (2019), putting the area second last of all 32 councils in Scotland (Source: SL State of the Environment Report).
  • Less than one fifth of children live in families who cannot afford three or more items out of a list of 22 basic everyday essential items.  This is slightly below the Scottish average. (Source: SHS, 2017-2019)
  • Nearly two thirds of children live in a low-income household where one or both parents work which is slightly higher than the Scottish average.  (Source: HMRC)
  • People are paid around £15.28 per hour (2021 figure); and men earn on average £1.86 more than women.  This is slightly higher than the Scottish average.  (Source: Annual survey of hours and earnings)
  • Between 2020 and 2021 the percentage of employees earning less than the living wage has went from the 9th highest rate of all Scottish councils to the 7th lowest rate (12.5%, 2021).  This is lower than the Scottish average (Source: ASHE)
  • Nearly one in every four houses spend 10% of their money on gas and electricity; and one in every ten houses spends 20% of their money which is lower than the Scottish average. (Source: SHCS 2017-19).
  • During the pandemic, one third of food parcels fed local children (16,000, 2020-21).  Latest figures for the first 6 months of 2021-22 show a 60% increase when compared to pre-pandemic figures (Source: South Lanarkshire Foodbanks).  
  • 57% of adults under the age of 35 were involved in informal volunteering (2018, latest figure available) which is much higher than the Scottish average (35%).  (Source: SHS, 2019)

Our Place - What our information tells us about our place

There is a significant amount of work being undertaken in our communities and by our partnership across South Lanarkshire to make it fairer, better and greener. The following sets out key information which shows the current picture in South Lanarkshire. 

Our Place - What our people have told us about where they live

  • Where I live there is a good community spirit.
  • Public transport links in some areas are poor and not everyone in our communities has access to online services.
  • Community spirit and involvement has changed for the better in communities, developing neighbourhood plans has helped this, so do more of this.
  • The needs of every community will differ according to the size, people and what community means to people. Many local communities have come together more since the COVID pandemic and that is a good start.
  • Community hall areas in villages would enhance and address health inequalities.
  • We need more affordable lets for groups to meet in their local area.
  • Recognise the limited resources that communities have to do what they want.
  • Create an environment for communities to fall down, learn and get back up and keep going.

Places where our people live in numbers

  • More than four fifths of houses can access the internet at home which is lower than the Scottiish average. (Source: SHS, 2019)
  • Just under a fifth of all children (18%) live in low-income households; half live with one parent; and half live with two parents; almost two thirds (63%) live in working families; and 38% live in families that do not work. (Source: DWP Stat Xplore/HMRC 2020/2021)
  • When we compare this with children who live in our most deprived areas; more than one in four (29.3%) live in low-income households; of which, 57% live with one parent; and 43% live with two parents.  53% live in working families and 46% live in families that do not work. (Source: DWP Stat Xplore/HMRC 2020/2021)
  • Information recorded for young people leaving school in South Lanarkshire shows that almost all leavers (96.3%) leave school and go into work/training/further education.  Half went on to Higher Education; 17.3% went on to Further Education; 22.8% got a job; and 5.7% started training.  Of the remaining 4%; 2.4% are looking for a job; 0.4% are doing voluntary work/personal skills development; and 1% were not seeking work. (Source: SLC Education Resources, SLDR 2020/2021)
  • When we compare this with young people who live in our most deprived areas; 92.6% leave school and go into work/training/further education.  Just over a third of leavers (33.6%) went on to Higher Education; 22.6% went on to Further Education; 25.2% got a job; and 10.7% started training.  Of the remaining 7.4%; 4.7% are looking for a job; 0.5% are doing voluntary work/personal skills development; and 1.7% are not seeking work. (Source: SLC Education Resources, SLDR 2020/2021)
  • Greenhouse gas emissions continue to decrease year on year (Source: SL State of the Environment Report)
  • Street cleanliness is improving, and satisfaction levels are above the Scottish average.  However, there has been a significant increase in fly tipping and abandoned cars because of the COVID-19 pandemic emergency measures.  (Source: SL State of the Environment Report)
  • The number of community allotments has increased from previous years. (Source: SL State of the Environment Report)

Our Shared Vision, Principles and Priorities

Our vision is that we improve the lives and prospects of everyone in South Lanarkshire. We will do this by making sure our communities are at the heart of community planning in South Lanarkshire.

Our shared principles set out how we plan to work better, together:-

Added Value and Continuous Improvement: We will work together to achieve more and become better at doing so.

Clarity of Purpose: We will attempt to avoid duplication of effort, developing agreed priorities to maximise our impact and focussing on the actions that will make the most difference;

Communication and Empowerment: We will talk to and listen to each other in a meaningful way, helping individuals, families and communities to take positive action to improve their wellbeing;

Embracing Change: We work in a rapidly changing world.  We are committed to making the most of this, shaping the direction of these changes to benefit local people and communities, taking innovative approaches and always questioning how and why we are doing things;

Focused Delivery: We will not lose sight of the fact that we need to make a positive difference.  We will work creatively and build on what we are already doing, focusing our services and actions to meet future needs; and

Openness and Trust: We will do more together, from planning to delivery, ensuring openness and transparency in how we work; trusting each other to fulfil our roles; and working in harmony.

Our Ambitions

This plan sets out how we will continue to support the people living in our communities to participate in Community Planning and puts the places where our communities live at the centre of change.  We will continue to focus on improving how we work better together to deliver local needs and priorities. 

This work will happen across three key ambitions: People; Progress; and Planet

People – Together, we will take a people first approach to improving everyone’s wellbeing.  People told us that empowerment comes from the community and it’s not something that is given to them.  We understand that long-lasting change will only be achieved if we all work together, putting our communities at the heart of community planning.  We will continue to have community conversations that matter.  We will work with communities to ensure that their voices are heard and support them to act on the things that are important to them through a “Can Do” approach.  

Progress – Together, we will build on what we have learned to improve how we do things and the wellbeing of everyone.  Delivering the right things that matter to people, in the right place and at the right time.  We have been inspired by the phenomenal community response to the global pandemic and have seen how our communities “Can Do” do more with the right information and support from us.  Our focus will be to continue to grow and develop the relationships and the excellent partnership working that has supported our communities to maintain and improve their wellbeing throughout the pandemic.

Planet - Together, we will act in ways that protect our natural world for a healthier future.  We will work together to develop local solutions to protect nature and to take action on climate change and support our young people to lead the way.

How we will deliver this plan

Investing in our future through Caring and Connected Communities

Delivering the ambitions in this plan will need our local communities, partnership and other stakeholders to work together.  Our Community Engagement and Participation Strategy, sets out what you should expect from partners when we work with you to deliver this plan. 

People told us that 'Partnerships' and 'Investment' are key to Community Planning; and that the sharing of power and resources; experience, skills and knowledge are all essential to any success.  This part of the plan sets out our shared ambitions and how everyone will be involved in and influence our work.  These ambitions set out a framework for action which need to be flexible enough to change over time in response to opportunities that may come up and available support.  We will also create a plan that shows how we will deliver on our shared ambitions.    

Ambition 1 - We will invest in PEOPLE by finding ways to share power and resources

What will we achieve together? Why this is important How will we do this together?
We will share power to create  long-lasting change People have told us that they want to be involved in making decisions and that they want us to listen and act on what matters to them
  • Work with people to find easy ways to make the changes that are needed
  • Develop the skills and values that partners need to support change in communities
  • Develop the skills of people living in our communities to enable them to make long lasting, sustainable change
  • Learn together how to develop creative solutions and use new technology to connect people
  • Make sure key messages are reaching people
  • Give communities confidence their priorities will create change;
  • Promote secure jobs and well-paid work
We will work together to design, deliver and buy in services People have told us that they want to be involved in how services are delivered and that they want us to listen and deliver on what matters to them
  • Work with businesses to develop a local first approach
  • Design services with the people who use them
  • Do more of the right things that make a difference for those who need them most
  • Communities will have more of a say and control over the services that are bought in

Ambition 2 - We will make PROGRESS by investing in learning together and how we can do things better

What will we achieve together?

Why this is important How will we do this together?
Young people will lead the way on actions to tackle climate change and nature loss Young people have told us that they are worried about their future and that they want to take local action to protect the planet and their place 
  • Young people lead conversations about climate change
  • Help young people to step into ‘green skills’ jobs
  • Young people and older people share learning and help each other enjoy the outdoors
  • We will design and deliver young people’s ideas with them 

We will work together to help people do the things that matter most to them where they live

People have told us that they want to get more involved and take action where they live though sometimes they don’t know how
  • Help our communities to deliver their priorities 
  • Make connections between people and groups with similar ideas
  • Learn together what conditions help communities bloom
  • Grow our third sector and community organisations
  • Promote the values and develop the skills that help staff and communities work together

Ambition 3 -  We will invest in our PLANET by putting local areas at the centre of our work 

What will we achieve together?

Why this is important How will we do this together?
We will work together to plan quality local areas and spaces to live, learn, play and work  People told us they valued the area where they live and wanted to make sure it is looked after
  • Invest in local areas and give people ownership
  • Use what is available in communities well
  • Make it easy for people to get what they need in the area where they live
  • Take our services into our communities
  • Use green areas to improve people’s wellbeing
We will look after our local areas for future generations People told us that they were worried about the environment and climate change
  • Learn together what we can change to look after our environment
  • Support communities whose environment is at more risk
  • Bring people together to share their ideas and plans
  • Help communities act on climate and nature priorities


The ambitions set out where we want to see change happening across the themes of Progress, People and Planet.  From your feedback, we know that there are six other priorities that are important to you.  We are already working to improve services in these areas and have plans that show how this is being done.  How well we are doing, and where we could do better is reported each year.  We will keep looking at what we are doing to make sure that we are meeting the changing needs of our people.

Priority Areas of Action

You have told us that the following areas of our current work are very important to you.  More information can be found on the Community Planning website.  See "All of the plans that deliver Community Planning".

Here are some examples of what we are doing:-

Putting learning at the centre

Key Partnership Plans: Children's Services Plan; Community Learning and Development Plan

  • We will work with parents to support the development of babies and young children
  • We will work with and support people of all ages to help them re-engage with education and learning or to improve their employability skills
  • We will support young people to progress to further learning, work or training when they leave school

Our children and young people thrive

Key Partnership Plans: Children's Services Plan; Local Child Poverty Action Report

  • We will work to ensure children have the best start in life and become everything they can be
  • We will work to ensure that the health and wellbeing of children, young people and families is improved
  • We will work to ensure that the life chances of children and young people in need of care and protection are improved

Thriving businesses and fair jobs

Key Partnership Plans: Economic Strategy

  • We will work to make sure everyone has the same opportunities to learn new skills
  • We will ensure that the place where you live is at the heart of our response to the climate emergency and help places to become sustainable
  • We will make it easy for businesses and social enterprises get all available help and advice from one place

Caring, connected communities

Key Partnership Plans: Local Community Plans including Neighbourhood Planning

  • We will continue to support and encourage every community to identify and act on their local priorities
  • We will bring communities together to share priorities and work jointly on them
  • We will involve local representatives in community planning at all levels, including on the Community Planning Partnership Board

Good quality, suitable housing for everyone

Key Partnership Plans: Local Housing Strategy; Local Development Plan; and Rapid Rehousing Transition Plan

  • We will increase affordable housing supply and improve access to and choice of housing options that suit people's needs
  • We will work in partnership to improve housing quality and energy efficiency, whilst supporting a just transition to decarbonisation
  • We will work in partnership to prevent and signficantly reduce homelessness, and improve outcomes for those at risk of or who experience homelessness

People live the healthiest lives possible

Key Partnership Plans: Joint Strategic Commissioning Plan

  • We will ensure that all of our services work with people as early as possible to stop problems happening
  • We will increase access activities and supports that help improve mental health and addictions
  • We will provide high quality day-to-day health and social care services that are accessible to everyone in our community who needs them

How we will know if we are making a difference

We will ask local people to tell us how they want us to show them how well we are doing and where we could be better.  We will also show how everyone helps to make this plan work and where we need to improve.  This will help us to tell the story about what difference we have made; and to learn lessons so that we can change what we do and how we do it.   Every year, we will report on the progress we have made to you.

Contact information:-

Email: Communities@southlanarkshire.gov.uk

Phone: Communities 0303 123 1017

Community Planning Partnership Website: www.southlanarkshirecommunityplanning.org