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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 2021-22: -


Is one of the latest communities to start the process of creating a Neighbourhood Plan, after just completing an engagement session where 646 residents shared their hopes and aspirations for Fernhill.  There were several ways to engage in the process, including doorstep conversations, community drop box, online or in person.  The plan is currently being designed with local people using the results from the recent engagement exercise and will be launched this summer.


The development of a Neighbourhood Plan in Whitehill has picked up pace following the recruitment of a new Development Officer.  The community consultation (like the process described previously) has been concluded and a draft Neighbourhood Plan has been agreed by the local Stakeholder Group.  Information sharing amongst local groups has also been improved because of the stakeholder group meetings.  Following several online meetings, and in response to the groups wishes, the first face-to-face meeting of local people, groups and service providers took place in April, to progress publication of the plan and deliver the desired outcomes identified in the community consultation.


Burnhill Stakeholders have been working together to address the top priorities set out in the neighbourhood plan for the area published in 2020. Stakeholders continued to meet throughout the restrictions due to COVID-19 and local residents responded to the pandemic by supporting neighbours with food and prescriptions. Local volunteers delivered events like street bingo, outdoor groups and started developing a derelict piece of land called the “High Backs”. Working in partnership with multiple agencies the volunteers cleared the land and started to consult with local people to include them in designing what the space would be used for. An annual report was created in 2021-22 to highlight the progress that has been made throughout the year to address the priorities.

Cambuslang East

Cambuslang East stakeholders have been working together to address the priorities set out in the neighbourhood plan published in 2020. Stakeholder meetings moved to online to continue to discuss the opportunities to work together to respond to the top 10 priorities local people set out in the neighbourhood plan. Throughout the pandemic volunteers responded to the local community by delivering food parcels and prescriptions as well as other types of support.

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

As well as developing plans for new areas, CET staff are refreshing the plans for the original three neighbourhood planning areas of Hillhouse, Udston and Burnbank; Strutherhill and Birkenshaw; and Springhall and Whitlawburn.  As part of this work a process of reviewing local priorities is underway with a view to revising the plans to ensure they continue to reflect community aspirations. Sustaining existing support to these communities to maintain and monitor the level of progress and success gained through Neighbourhood Planning is important feature of the work of the CET in order to continue to improve outcomes for these areas.

Fairhill/ Eddlewood/Low Waters

Preparation work has been progressed during 2021-22 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, usually in conjunction with 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, for example, have worked with consultants to produce their own plans. 

During year 2021-22 development work on new community led plans has been progressing at the initiation of local community groups in Biggar, Carluke, Quothquan and Thankerton and Symington. Preliminary discussions also began with colleagues in the council Planning Policy team and local community groups for a joint Community Led Plan/Local Plan Place for Lanark, as part of new responsibilities being placed on local authorities under National Planning Framework 4.

Participatory Budgeting in local communities

Participatory Budgeting (often known as PB) is a way for individuals and communities to decide how public money is spent in their area. PB presents a real opportunity in both the neighbourhood and community led planning areas for communities to better align public spending decisions to projects that meet with local priorities. The PB process helps strengthen and build community connections and empower communities through collective decision making. Due to the pandemic and attendance restrictions some Stakeholder groups have decided to delay implementing PB activity until 2021-22. However in Hillhouse, Udston and Burnbank, Strutherhill and Birkenshaw, and Whitehill approaches have been adapted (with the assistance of digital technology) to enable local decision making and the allocation of funds. As a result of the most recent round of PB meetings (March 2021) a number of local spending priorities have been identified to receive funding during 2021/22

Participatory Budgeting – Community Choices

The Participatory Budgeting (PB) process has been adopted across nine neighbourhood planning areas which share £40,000 (share given is based on population size).  A variety of approaches based on local circumstances were used to distribute the funding.  3,124 local people have had their say on how money should be spent within their community. The breakdown of the Participatory Budgeting Process awards by area is shown below:

Blantyre: Allocation of £5,600: Spend was deferred until 2022-2023.

Burnhill Neighbourhood Planning Group: £8,400 (2 years of funding); 218 votes cast; Burnhill Action Group was awarded money for outdoor play for young people and families to provide more social and recreational activities and to make environmental improvements through the development of a community garden.

Cambuslang East Neighbourhood Planning Group: £12,600 (2 years’ funding); 895 votes cast; groups awarded money to provide more social and recreational activities include: SLLC -Sports HUB x3; Project 31 Outdoor Play; Halfway Bingo Club; Westburn Youth Project – Outdoor play sessions and an outing; Circuit Youth Project – Outdoor play and an outing for young people x2; Youth Family and Community Learning Bay and Toddler HUB x2; Youth Family and Community Learning – After School HUB x2; and Cambuslang Out of School Care – Easter/summer Programme.  Halfway Community Council – Clean up; LEAP – Development of Community Garden; Westburn Youth Project – Memorial Garden Development; and Lightburn Early Learning Centre – Development of nursery garden were awarded money to make environmental improvements.

Fernhill Neighbourhood Planning Group: £5,600; 337 votes cast; groups awarded money to provide more social and recreational activities include: Fernhill Youth Project – Outing for young people; Fernhill Play Scheme – Activities for families during school holidays; Fernhill Soccer School – Support existing programme; Fernhill Bowlers – Outing; Fernhill Seniors – Outing; and the O’Hana Club – Activities for young people and families.

Hillhouse, Udston and Burnbank Neighbourhood Planning Group: £7,000; 1,228 votes cast; groups awarded money to provide more social and recreational activities include: Udston Primary Play for All; Terminal 1 HUB Youth Group; Hillhouse Link Tenants and Residents Association – Hillstop Café; Gilmour and Whitehill Parish and Harvest Church – Burnbank Community HUB; and the 17th Hamilton Brownies – Camp.

Springhall and Whitlawburn Neighbourhood Planning Group: £4,200; 446 votes cast: groups awarded money to provide more social and recreational activities include: Springhall and Whitlawburn Youth Development Team; WCRC Christmas event; Age Active; Cathkin Duke of Edinburgh Group; Youth, Family and Community Learning (YFCL) Family Learning Arts and Crafts; and Project 31.

Strutherhill and Birkenshaw Neighbourhood Planning Group: £4,200: Spend was deferred until 2022-2023.  Money will be invested in existing live projects. Play and park developments, physical environmental improvements and the development of a bike initiative. 

Whitehill Neighbourhood Planning Group: £3,500; 420 votes cast: groups awarded money to provide more social and recreational activities include: Whitehill Fun Day – provision of fun fair, games, entertainment, arts and crafts and catering; Games to bring the community back together - funding used to purchase a variety of board games/outdoor games equipment; Activity Packs for Older People and Children - packs with puzzles, crosswords, sudokus, pens, notepads and other games, to help to keep minds active and improve wellbeing; Forest School Programme -  development of local school’s Forest School programme to offer vulnerable young people the opportunity to build skills, self-confidence and new friendship groups; Healthy Body, Healthy Minds Whitehill - funding took groups of teenagers from Whitehill, two times per week for fitness training, nutritional guidance, improving overall health and wellbeing within the community; Well Fit Project - allowed children to express ideas, thoughts and feelings while taking part in healthy activities and sports opportunities; and Staying out for the Summer - funding was used for a range of arts and crafts and sports/outside games equipment that was used with children and families at events and activity days over the school holidays in the local park.

COVID-19 response- Community Wellbeing

A Community Wellbeing Helpline was established by South Lanarkshire Council in March 2020, led by the Community Engagement Team (CET) in partnership other council services and local community organisations (local food banks, Citizen Advice Bureaus (CABs) and third sector and voluntary groups) to support those who were in financial need or were forced to self-isolate during the COVID-19 crisis. The CET and Community Planning Partnership (CPP) have continued to support the Wellbeing line since March 2020 and during the past two years have provided over 40,000 different items or types of assistance to people in the local community, ranging from essentials such as food, prescriptions, power or energy support, nappies and baby products and sanitary products, to signposting callers to other services such as pet care, financial/benefits advice, social work and counselling referrals.

During 2021-22 there was a noticeable drop in both calls and requests for assistance to the Community Wellbeing Helpline compared to the previous year, which was largely a reflection of the lifting of restrictions put in place during the pandemic.  Despite the drop in demand to the Community Wellbeing helpline, Community Engagement Team members still received 1,107 calls for help or advice from the public through the year 2021-22, providing 1,667 responses to requests for assistance.

As part of the response the Community Engagement Team either directly or in partnership with local food banks, distributed food parcels to 2,113 people across all areas of South Lanarkshire. In addition to this the CET collected/delivered 40 prescriptions; dealt with 39 befriending/counselling enquiries; met 239 requests for assistance with pet care (mostly to supply pet food); 25 requests for help with shopping; answered 93 enquiries relating to utilities bills/energy advice. A further 35 requests were signposted/referred on by CET members to money advice services, such as CABs and Money Matters, many of these were applications to the Scottish Welfare Fund. Directly in response to requests through the helpline the CET provided sanitary packs to 159 women; while there were 12 requests for items of medical equipment (PPE, Hand Sanitizer, medical aids).

In addition to the Community Wellbeing helpline, during 2021-22 the Community Engagement Team directly distributed items to households as part of wider Community Wellbeing programme support. These included supplying sanitary products to a further 18,450 women (through the Period Positive initiative), as well as distributing just under 1,000 Cleaning Packs, 1,568 Wellbeing Packs (health advice) and 771 Children’s and Young People Packs, as well as 400 recipe kits.

Child Poverty Action

A statutory requirement was placed on local authorities and health boards to report annual progress on Child Poverty as part of the 2017 Child Poverty (Scotland) Act. The South Lanarkshire Community Planning Partnership has coordinated the development of the LCPAR and associated actions since Year 1 (2018-19)

The first South Lanarkshire Local Child Poverty Action Report (LCPAR) was published in the summer of 2019, with 2021-22 representing Year 4 of the report. The Local Child Poverty Action Report (LCPAR) 2021-22 highlights the work of CPP partners over the past year aimed at trying to reduce levels of poverty amongst young people and families with children.

Intensive work was undertaken during 2021-22 between the LCPAR working group (which reports to the CPP) and the Local Government Improvement Service (LGIS) on developing a new approach to coordinating local child poverty policy design and responses for the coming year. A number of engagement sessions facilitated by LGIS and child poverty leads/CPP partners were held to agree a new performance framework of child poverty priorities for 2022-23. It was also agreed by CPP partners that the 2022-23 framework will form the basis of a new 3-year child poverty strategy and plan to be developed to cover activity in the longer term from 2023 to 2026.

The full South Lanarkshire LCPAR 2021-22 and the performance framework outlining the priorities for the coming year (2022-23) and future years can be accessed here:- Child Poverty Action Report

Changes to Community Planning/development of Local Community Partnerships (LCPs)

The establishment of local community partnerships 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 Local Community Partnerships formally joined the Community Planning Partnership Strategic Board on behalf of their group.

In respect of the Rutherglen/Cambuslang 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 Clydesdale LCP has not been as advanced as it has in Rutherglen/Cambuslang 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 CET members and local community groups and East Kilbride (EK) area Community Council representatives, although the Terms of Reference/ administrative and governance arrangements for the partnership have still to be agreed. It is the intention that work on the EK Local Community Partnership and the establishment the fourth partnership in Hamilton will be further advanced during 2022-23.

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.

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.

Up until 2021 South Lanarkshire Council had already undertaken a number of successful CAT processes, most notably ROW 73 in Rutherglen and East Kilbride United. During year 2021-22 a further eight applications were received/validated, with seven approved. The seven applications that were approved were Douglas Community Woodland (Douglasdale Real Group), Land at Birch Place (Blantyre Soccer Academy), Former Walston School Biggar (Biggar Men’s Shed), Low Waters Hall Hamilton (Clyde Scouts/112th Scouts), Glassford Community Hall (Glassford Community Group), Comely Bank Hillhouse Hamilton (Supporting Our Community Hillhouse), and Bothwell Library and car park (Bothwell Futures). All approved projects have been purchased by community groups or groups representing specific local interests, with a view to creating their own innovative approaches to improving aspects of community life.

In recognition of the importance of the CAT and the large number of local organisations who are interested in the opportunities afforded by the process, in February 2022 a temporary Community Asset Transfer Officer was appointed. The role of the CAT Officer will be to provide specialist support and guidance to community organisations who are looking at using CAT to take advantage of former public assets that might benefit the community from community ownership. The post is supported by a grant fund which can be allocated to assist groups successfully completing the process. 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 2021-22, none of the Community Planning Partners received a participation request.

Last year we set out actions to improve community planning practice which were agreed at a Community Planning Conference in December 2019. An update on progress is provided in the table below, however it should be noted that due to the COVID-19 pandemic progressing the actions has been delayed.

Conference feed Back (December 2019) Actions being taken Foward Date
Community should be invited to be part of the Community Planning Partnership Community Partnerships now established in 2 of the 4 locality areas (Cambuslang/ Rutherglen and Clydesdale) with TOR’s or remits agreed. A preliminary meeting of the East Kilbride Community Partnership was held in early 2022 with local Community Councils and local community groups/ third sector in East Kilbride, with the intention of moving forward with this work in year 2022/23. Progress on the Hamilton Community Partnership delayed to due staff departures but intent to further develop the work on the area LCP in the coming year. Progress as of 31 March 2022
Make the Community Asset Transfer (CAT) process easier to understand

Community Asset Transfer webpage introduced on the South Lanarkshire Council website outlining both historical and current applications/ application status and successful bids for CAT to community groups and the wider public. Temporary Community Asset Transfer Officer appointed (February 2022), with remit to inform community groups interested in CAT, and to advise clients through the application process, and facilitate applications.

Progress as of 31 March 2022
Use a variety of communication techniques

New Community Planning Communications Plan agreed by the Board and published in 2021.

Task Completed by 31 March 2021

Invest in volunteers South Lanarkshire Volunteering Strategy progressed and developed during 2021/22 (led by VASLAN). Final Strategy document published October 2022. Progress as of 31 March 2022

More information about the conference can be found on the Community Planning Partnership website.

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 objectives 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 2021-22 based on the data available at the time of publication (February 2023)