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Public performance reports

Working with communities

The Council Plan Connect outlines our outcomes for 2022-27. Connect Outcomes should not be seen in isolation, they interact with each other and as we achieve success in one, we move closer to success in others. In delivering our vision to ‘improve the lives and prospects of everyone in South Lanarkshire’ our outcomes show how our work links with our partners including our Community Planning Partners.

For daily updates, stories and what’s going on in your area, visit our information and news website South Lanarkshire View

Each year we produce Annual Performance Spotlights which summarise how we have performed in achieving our Connect Outcomes. To complement these we have created a suite of individual Public Performance Reports which focus on key areas of council business. This report outlines the performance in relation to working with communities.

Working with Communities

Community Planning Partners are working together to make South Lanarkshire a better place to live and work. Our aim is to work with communities to deliver better services targeted at reducing poverty and tackling inequalities and deprivation across South Lanarkshire. Further information about the work of the partnership can be found on the South Lanarkshire Community Planning website.

The council’s Community Engagement Team (CET) work with communities to help them identify and meet their local priorities. They can also help to find the best people within the partnership to talk to about your community’s ideas and how you can progress these.

The Community Empowerment Act 2015 (The Act) means that, legally, the partnership has to place communities at the centre of its process and work alongside them to produce locality plans which we call neighbourhood plans in areas which face the greatest inequalities. The Act also sets out other requirements for public bodies such as Community Asset Transfer  and Participation Requests.

During the year, many consultation and engagement activities were carried out by partners with communities in the South Lanarkshire area. The following sections highlight some areas of this work.

Neighbourhood Planning/Community Led Planning

Led by the Community Planning Partnership, Neighbourhood Planning aims to improve outcomes for residents in some of our most deprived communities.  Key to this is supporting communities to develop a shared vision for their neighbourhood. This is achieved through intensive work with local people to identify their priorities, support them to act where they can and help develop partnerships with service providers. Communities work alongside other stakeholders to bring about positive change and improvements to help shape the development and growth of their local area. Together they make the most of our shared resources to improve their areas. We now have nine completed neighbourhood plans (Burnhill, Fernhill, Springhall and Whitlawburn, Cambuslang East, Blantyre, Hillhouse/ Udston/ Burnbank, Whitehill, Sturtherhill and Birkenshaw, Fairhill (to be replaced by a Hamilton South ward plan) these can be viewed at: Community Plan and Neighbourhood Plans

In terms of highlights of progress during 2022-23: -


Fernhill stakeholders have been working together to address the priorities set out in the Neighbourhood Plan published in 2022. The stakeholder group continues to discuss the opportunities to work together to respond to the top 10 priorities that local people set out in the Neighbourhood Plan.

Projects that were funded through Participatory Budgeting in 2021-22 were delivered with a particular focus on supporting ongoing activity in the area that local people really value.


The development of a Neighbourhood Plan in Whitehill has picked up pace following the recruitment of a new Development Officer in January 2023. A new stakeholder group was established and the first meeting was held in March 2023, with the aim of re-ranking their Neighbourhood Plan priorities.


The Burnhill stakeholder group has been working together to address the top priorities set out in the Neighbourhood Plan for the area published in 2020. Throughout the pandemic it became clear that the community were keen to create a community space that could be used to host community events, activities, and support services for the Burnhill community. The Burnhill community began to develop the green space at “High Backs”, to become the hub of the community. The community used the consultation data that was collected for the Neighbourhood Plan to plan and design the project to ensure that it was meeting community needs. 

An annual progress report was created with local stakeholders to share with the community and partners on the progress that had been made to deliver the priorities highlighted in the Neighbourhood Plan.

Cambuslang East

The Cambuslang East stakeholders group has been working together to address the priorities set out in the Neighbourhood Plan published in 2020. Regular stakeholder meetings are held to continue to discuss the opportunities to work together to respond to the top 10 priorities local people set out in the Neighbourhood Plan.

Dialogue has started with local people and organisations around the possibility of transferring two community facilities through the council’s Asset Transfer process. One being a community centre that is currently closed, and the other a sports pitch. Both are valued assets within the community. The groups have gained support through capacity building work to allow them to progress the projects.

An annual progress report was created with local stakeholders to share with the community and partners on the progress that had been made to deliver on the priorities highlighted in the Neighbourhood Plan.

Hillhouse, Udston and Burnbank; Strutherhill and Birkenshaw; Springhall and Whitlawburn

The Our Place Our Plan (OPOP) Stakeholder Groups, in the three most established Neighbourhoods Planning areas continue to work towards addressing the priority themes that form the basis of their Neighbourhood Plans. To ensure the plan continues to reflect local priorities and ambitions, the groups facilitate an annual re-ranking of their priority themes. 2022-23 saw a significant emphasis being placed on promoting financial wellbeing, as individuals and communities coped with the legacy of the pandemic and the impact of financial austerity. Building community capacity and sustaining existing support to these communities remains a key feature of the work of the Community Engagement Team: To maintain and monitor progress and success gained through Neighbourhood Planning and continue to improve outcomes where this is needed the most.

Hamilton South (formerly known as Fairhill/ Eddlewood/Low Waters)

Preparation work has been progressed during 2022-23 on a new plan for Hamilton South, which is intended to build on existing engagement work/Neighbourhood Planning work currently ongoing in Fairhill, Eddlewood and Low Waters.

Community Led Plans

In addition to the council led Neighbourhood Planning activity, some of our communities have been developing and delivering on their own ‘community led’ plans. These plans are created by local community groups and community councils. This may also be with the support of external organisations funded by larger sponsors (for example energy companies, national charitable organisations) and the Community Engagement Team continues to provide support and advice to groups on this work. Many of the Clydesdale communities have produced their own community led plans with some currently in progress. Some communities will be looking at renewing their existing plans and consulting with the community as to the relevance of the priorities identified within the action plans and look to the next vision for the future. This is relevant to the communities of Rigside, Douglas and Glespin.

During year 2022-23, development work on new community led plans has been progressing at the initiation of local community groups in Crawford and Blackmount, and through a consultant supporting the community in Leadhills.

Participatory Budgeting in local communities

Participatory Budgeting (often known as PB) is a key feature of Neighbourhood Planning and is closely aligned to the delivery of locally identified actions to help address the priorities outlined in the Neighbourhood Plans. PB coupled with capacity building support, is an invaluable engagement tool. Empowering communities, building community confidence and social capital while supporting community led decision making and enriching local democracy. £65,000 was secured from the Lottery Communities Fund to support the delivery of PB in nine Neighbourhood Planning areas. PB presents a real opportunity in Neighbourhood Planning areas, enabling communities to better align public spending decisions resulting in the delivery of community led projects that best meet local priorities. The PB process helps strengthen and build community capacity connections, empower communities through collective decision making and builds social capital.

Participatory Budgeting

The PB process has been adopted across nine neighbourhood planning. A variety of approaches based on local circumstances are used to distribute the funding. This included a contribution from the Lottery Communities Fund as well as investment from South Lanarkshire Council. In summary, 3,392 local people have had their say on how money should be spent within their community with some areas choosing to carry their funding through to the next year. The breakdown of the PB process awards by area is shown below:

Blantyre: Allocation of £11,200: This spend included PB funding from both 2021-22 and 2022-23.  Nine groups benefited from this funding which involved 967 people and 2,901 votes being cast.

Burnhill Neighbourhood Planning Group: Burnhill received £28,278 of PB funding which was allocated based on ideas generated through community consultation and then a voting process to allow local people to get involved in decision making.  254 local residents voted and took part in the PB exercise.

Cambuslang East Neighbourhood Planning Group: The PB funding for the year 2022-23 was £45,200 however the stakeholder group chose to carry this forward to 2023-24.

Fernhill Neighbourhood Planning Group: The PB funding for the year 2022-23 was £25,172 however the stakeholder group chose to carry this forward to 2023-24.

Hillhouse, Udston and Burnbank Neighbourhood Planning Group:

In 2022-23, £44,870 Place Based PB was available for the Hillhouse, Udston and Burnbank (HUB) area. 1,649 residents took part in the public voting events where 4,946 votes were cast. 13 proposals were received, 1 was fully funded, 1 partially funded and 2 were unsuccessful. A local charity offered £1,000 to one of the projects that didn’t receive funding but were signposted to other funding sources. PB funding supported the delivery of the following activities:-

  • A weekend supported study programme in John Ogilvie High school;
  • Subsidised travel for educational purposes;
  • A gym installation;
  • Purchase of kitchen equipment;
  • Training;
  • A Christmas event held by the Hillstop Café;
  • Food and other essential personal care products to support the work of Burnbank Community HUB;
  • Youth activity and family focus support;
  • Programmes of activities at both Burnbank and Hillhouse Youth Clubs;
  • Gardening equipment and resources for the Hillhouse Recreational Space;
  • The upgrade of a family room in St Cuthberts Primary School;
  • A residential guide’s camp;
  • Training and some running costs for Supporting Our Community; and
  • A mental health and wellbeing project.

Springhall and Whitlawburn Neighbourhood Planning Group: In 2022-23, £29,053 Place Based PB was available for this neighbourhood. 2,610 votes were cast with 522 residents taking part in a public vote. 17 project proposals were received. 13 projects were fully funded, 1 partially funded and 3 were unsuccessful. Projects and activities included:

  • Springhall and Whitlawburn Youth Development Team (SWYDT) in partnership with Cathkin Award Group held a community wide fun day;
  • A sports, dance, and movement programme - REACH Lanarkshire Autism;
  • Purchase of play equipment - Little Rascals Toddler Group;
  • A residential, food provision and sensory space - Cathkin Duke of Edinburgh Group;
  • Pop Up Play was delivered by Project 31;
  • Springhall and Whitlawburn Youth Development Team (SWYDT) hosted activity sessions, trips, and visits;
  • Springhall Community Resource Group held a seasonal event;
  • Whitlawburn Community Resource Centre developed a warm spaces initiative;
  • The base of the Whitlawburn Digital HUB was upgraded, and staff took part in city and guilds training and became energy advisors;
  • Age Active an older people group worked in partnership with the SWYDT and hosted an intergenerational event; and
  • Equipment and resources were purchased by St Anthonys Foodbank.

Strutherhill and Birkenshaw Neighbourhood Planning Group: In 2022-23, £24,389 was allocated to the Strutherhill and Birkenshaw area to support Place Based PB.  Findings from the community consultation were used to influence the PB process in this neighbourhood.  It was decided that PB funds should be invested in live projects being pursued by the Our Place Our Plan (OPOP) Community Group and a bike cycling initiative was developed.  The group did not spend the full amount of PB funds and a PB process will be put in place securing full investment in 2023-24. 

Local Community Planning Partnerships

The establishment of Local Community Partnerships (LCPs) provides new opportunities for communities/groups operating at the local level to input into strategic decision-making in Community Planning, by providing an intermediate level of engagement between neighbourhood groups and the CPP board.  The partnerships will act as a consultative group for service redesign and new service delivery proposals and will contribute to problem solving through the identification of challenges requiring joint solutions or interventions at the locality level. As part of their remit, the LCPs will also now oversee the work to produce Neighbourhood Planning Annual Reports as required by the Community Empowerment Act 2015 and promote co-production by involving communities of place and interest in the design and delivery of local public services.

The ambition at establishment was to set up LCPs to represent communities in the four localities of South Lanarkshire (Rutherglen/ Cambuslang; Hamilton; East Kilbride; Clydesdale). Although still at different stages of development, partnerships in Cambuslang and Rutherglen and the Clydesdale localities have been established during 2021-22, with Terms of Reference being agreed and groups in both these areas presenting update reports to the CPP Board. In June 2022, a representative from each of the LCPs formally joined the Community Planning Partnership Strategic Board on behalf of their group.

In respect of the Cambuslang/Rutherglen LCP the partnership has already progressed inputs from officers from other council services (CPP partners) on specific issues that have been moved onto the CPP Board/Management Group. Issues such as improving communication in order to ensure wider community participation in Community Planning has already led to practical changes. For example, consultation activity has been undertaken in response to a request from the partnership for greater community involvement in the design, development and delivery of consultation activity.  Vandalism and anti-social behaviour have been notable issues raised by local partners in the partnership area over the past year. Work in the Clydesdale LCP has not been as advanced as it has in  Cambuslang/Rutherglen but already the availability of rural transport and energy costs have been noted as issues of specific concern to partnership members in the area.

Preparatory work was also started on the East Kilbride Local Community Partnership in early 2022, with two meetings between the council’s Community Engagement Team members, local community groups and East Kilbride area Community Council representatives, although the Terms of Reference and administrative and governance arrangements for the partnership have still to be agreed. It is the intention that work on the East Kilbride LCP and the establishment the fourth partnership in Hamilton will be further advanced during 2022-23. A Development Officer was recruited in January 2023 to specifically support and facilitate further development of all the Community Partnerships.

Shaping Places for Wellbeing (SPW)

Shaping Places for Wellbeing is a 3-year programme, running until March 2024, which is being delivered by Public Health Scotland (PHS) and the Improvement Service (IS) jointly with Community Planning partners with the aim of addressing health inequalities.

Proposals for the Rutherglen area to be considered as a test site were submitted during 2021 and this was approved early 2022. In August 2022, the work started in Rutherglen with the appointment of a Project Lead and a Community Link Lead was appointed in December 2022. The Rutherglen Shaping Places for Wellbeing Steering Group was developed, consisting of members from NHS Health Improvement; South Lanarkshire Council; Third Sector Interface; local Community Development Trust; South Lanarkshire Council Planning Team; and NHS Lanarkshire, amongst others.

There was a focus on data and information gathering, working with an analyst at Public Health Scotland to develop a data profile for Rutherglen identifying five key inequalities through the involvement of community groups and the Shaping Places for Wellbeing Steering Group. The five key inequalities for Rutherglen identified were: Life expectancy variances across the town; poverty, in particular child poverty; alcohol-related hospitalisations; people on out of work benefits; and the proportion of people living close to derelict sites.

The Community Link Lead started to engage with local community groups and people to identify their thoughts on Rutherglen, developing a qualitative data report and infographic to outline local thoughts whilst building relationships with organisations and departments within South Lanarkshire Council such as the Community Engagement Team and Planning Department.

The programme delivered its first Place and Wellbeing Assessment in October 2022 on the South Lanarkshire Economic Strategy. A Place and Wellbeing Assessment brings together a group of stakeholders to inform decision-making by identifying how a plan, policy or proposal will affect a place and its impact on the wellbeing of people and planet. This would be the starting point for delivering a number of other assessments throughout 2022-23. These assessments can be found here.

Community Asset Transfers

The Community Empowerment Act gives community organisations a right to ask to take over control of land or a building. If the community organisation's plan is better for people, they will be allowed to buy, rent or have the use of it. The Community Asset Transfer (CAT) process allows the council to work closely with their communities to develop services and provision that are responsive to the needs of residents. By capitalising on the local knowledge and expertise of those who live in these communities we can assist in the flexible usage of council assets and work together to make the greatest impact possible in the communities in which we serve.

CAT interest continued to steadily increase during the operational period due to increased publicity coupled with outreach and engagement work that the designated CAT Officer has been undertaking.

The legislation entitles suitably constituted organisations to buy, lease or manage land or property owned by the local authority.  Although interest continues to grow there remains issues about communities capacity to utilise the legislation successfully and then manage the asset they have taken ownership of.

The CAT Officer has strived to strengthen links with key organisations such as Voluntary Action South Lanarkshire (VASLan) and Community Ownership Support Services (COSS) with a view to ensuring that where possible, groups receive the best support possible.

The CAT Officer has redesigned the processes and protocols the authority use to improve access to support and information that communities require. Internal and external training have also been offered on the Asset Transfer process which has hopefully provided a bedrock for groups to develop their plans to full applications.

During 2022-23 the council received four applications all of which were approved.  These included the transfer of football pitches to Blantyre Victoria’s Junior Team, Carluke Men’s Shed leasing a former cemetery keepers house as their new base, a former tennis pavilion in Alexander Hamilton Memorial Park in Stonehouse being transferred to Friends of Stonehouse Park and BASE badminton successfully applying for a lease for Stewartfield Community Centre in East Kilbride.

See Community Asset Transfer for more information.

Participation Requests

Participation requests are a formal way for community bodies to request to be involved in local decisions and to put forward their ideas on how services could be changed to improve outcomes for the community. Requests can be made to a range of public bodies including South Lanarkshire Council, NHS Lanarkshire, Police Scotland, Scottish Fire and Rescue, etc. During 2022-23, South Lanarkshire Council received one participation request.

See Participation Requests for further information.

Period Positive

The Scottish Government has awarded local authorities funding to tackle ‘period poverty’. The Period Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Act 2021 states that each local authority must ensure that, within its area, period products are obtainable free of charge, in accordance with arrangements established and maintained by the local authority by all persons who need to use them.  Section 1 of the Act places a legal duty on councils to make sure that period products are available for those who need them. 

Over the year 2022-23 various in-person locations have been set up around South Lanarkshire which include local libraries, community halls, community organisations and support for our Education partners. 

In 2022-23, there has been 52,830 bulk provision packs distributed across our in-person locations and by online ordering. 

Online Form – 29,714 Single Use Packs, 4,044 Reusable Products (1 April – 31 March - total online applications were 6,158 (9,596 people));

Community Organisations – 10,727 Single Use Packs, 465 Reusable Products;

South Lanarkshire Council – 562 Single Use Packs, 107 Reusable Products;

National Health Service – 992 Single Use Packs;

Universal Connections - 628 Single Use Packs, 49 Reusable Products; and

SLLC (Libraries) – 5,549 Single Use Packs.

Further information

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 or making a participation request.  If you would like to get involved, email or phone 0303 123 1017

All Neighbourhood Plans and the Community Plan 2022- 2032 can be found on the CPP website: Community Plan and Neighbourhood Plans

Community Planning Partnership Annual Outcome Improvement Report 2022-23

South Lanarkshire Volunteering Strategy 2022-24

Shaping Places for Wellbeing-Local Government Improvement Service

Engagement Strategy

Information on local Community Asset Transfer, and CAT applications/ approvals South Lanarkshire Council webpage on Community Asset Transfer Community Asset Transfer

More information on our outcomes can be found in the Council Plan Connect, and also the Annual Performance Spotlights.

Local Government Benchmarking Framework (LGBF) allows councils to work together, to use performance information in a way which will help understand variations, share knowledge, expertise and good practice, with a view to making improvements. For more information and links relating to this framework go to the 'Benchmarking' paragraph on the Improvement and how we compare page on our website.

The information contained within this report reflects the position for 2022-23 based on the data available at the time of publication (February 2024)