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Public performance reports

Working with communities

The Council Plan Connect, outlines our objectives for 2017-22. Connect Priorities 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 quality of life of everyone in South Lanarkshire’ our priorities 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 Priorities. 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 communities and engagement.

Introduction

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 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 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. A comprehensive list of the neighbourhood plans as well as progress reports on neighbourhood planning activity are available from the Community Planning Partnership.

In addition to the Neighbourhood Planning work 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, but they are generally still supported by local/national organisations (e.g. Community Councils/groups, voluntary and charitable organisations), as well as the council’s Community Engagement team.  Many of the Clydesdale communities, for example, have worked with consultants to produce their own plans.  Westwood in East Kilbride has worked closely with Community Engagement staff to deliver their own planning process with advice and support from the team. If your area is interested in developing their own Community Plan please contact communities@southlanarkshire.gov.uk.  A list of all current Community Plans can be found on the CPP website- see link  Community Planning southlanarkshirecommunityplanning.org)

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 Community Engagement Team are leading on the implementation of PB across all council services. The “Community Choices 1% Framework Agreement” states that South Lanarkshire Council should allocate 1% of the overall council budget (minus council tax revenue) to spend on priorities identified by local communities through the participatory budgeting process.

For most of financial year 2020-21, the plans to mainstream the participatory budgeting 1% framework agreement were suspended due to the pandemic, although some preparatory activity continued to take place, such as staff training, information sessions and the processing on small grants in support of the rollout process. Moving into 2021-22 it is intended that South Lanarkshire Council will fulfil the commitment to implement the 1% Framework Agreement which includes £2 million of additional investment to move forward with the new process which is scheduled to be decided upon during 2021-22.

COVID-19 response- Community Wellbeing      

 At the beginning of the COVID-19 lockdown, during March 2020, a Community Wellbeing Helpline was established by the council and supported by the South Lanarkshire CPP.  The partnership worked with local community responders who had quickly mobilised to support those who were in need.  A range of local voluntary and community sector groups and organisations (e.g. food banks, CABs and churches) have joined to form local networks.

Between the 1st April 2020 and the 31st March 2021, the Community Engagement team received almost 4,700 calls for help or advice, through the Community Wellbeing helpline, which in turn led to over 5,300 community responses by the Community Engagement area teams e.g. Hamilton, Cambuslang/ Rutherglen, Clydesdale, East Kilbride. As part of the wider community response the Community Engagement team provided assistance to almost 8,000 households with requests for food (3,000 by request through the Community Wellbeing helpline and a further 4,700 through direct distribution to vulnerable groups, such as the homeless/ elderly/ disabled). In addition to this the CE team collected/ delivered 1,800 prescriptions; dealt with 300 befriending/counselling enquiries; met 250 requests for assistance with pet care; 200 requests for help with shopping; 200 enquiries for assistance with utilities bills/energy advice; while over 100 requests were signposted to financial advice services, such as CAB’s and Money Matters. Additional assistance delivered by the CE team included co-ordinating the delivery of sanitary packs to over 8,000 women/girls; over 600 requests for items of medical equipment (PPE, Hand Sanitizer, medical aids) and over 50 requests for hearing aid batteries. 

Our Place, My Future activity started in Burnbank in Hamilton in 2019, but this has been paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is hoped that this work will resume as restrictions ease during 2021-22. It is intended that Community engagement staff will use person-centred approaches to help establish and sustain relationships between individuals/families and local community networks, and assist them to access appropriate support and services. 

Child Poverty Action

The Community Planning Partnership’s Local Child Poverty Action Report (LCPAR) 2019-20 and Action Plan (LCPA) 2020-21 sets out how partners will continue to work together to try to reduce levels of poverty amongst young people and families with children.

The full South Lanarkshire LCPAR 2019-20 and LCPAP 2020-21 can be accessed on the child poverty action plan.

Community Engagement

In November 2020 the Community Planning Partnership published a new Community Engagement Strategy 2020-25. Notwithstanding the barriers to engagement imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic over the last 12 months, through its development, a high level of engagement with local groups, organisations and individuals has been maintained. The plan sets out how the partnership will engage with and listen to communities to improve outcomes for everyone, as well as trying out new ways to establish permanent frameworks to allow this to happen. You can access the new strategy on the Community Planning Partnership website.

In early 2021 a new Community Planning Participation and Engagement group was established, to oversee the delivery of the strategy. The plans for this group are to advance work on a new community engagement framework, which it is hoped will be published during the course of 2021-22.

Changes to Community Planning

The Community Planning Partnership Board has approved plans to put communities firmly at the heart of Community Planning.  Work has started with people living in the Cambuslang/Rutherglen and Clydesdale areas to establish Community Partnerships which will further strengthen the voice of local people about what happens in their area and how services are delivered.    

Community Asset Transfers

Local councils, the Scottish Government and other public authorities own or rent lots of land and buildings, like schools, hospitals, parks and forests. 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. This is called Asset Transfer. The Act sets out specific criteria that needs to be met by community organisations. 

Further information

For more information on asset transfers see the Asset Transfer Summary Guide;

Community Asset Transfers - South Lanarkshire Council

Participation Requests

Participation requests are a formal way for community bodies to request to be involved in decisions and 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 Service, etc. More information on participation requests is provided through the link below:-

Participation Requests

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 feedback
Conference feed Back (December 2019) Actions being taken Foward (progress by March 2021) Date
Community should be invited to be part of the Community Planning Partnership An initial conversation with representatives of the local community: (neighbourhood planning stakeholders, community councils, community engagement team/council staff and representatives of the community planning board partners) took place in the Cambuslang and Rutherglen area in February 2021, in order to prepare the ground for the new structures. Similar discussions will soon be held in other areas. The membership and meeting arrangements for each partnership will be decided by the community members. Initial, early discussions have taken place with representative organisations operating in the Cambuslang and Rutherglen locality to begin to consider the development of a Community Partnership which would provide a link/intermediary between communities and the Community Planning Partnership Board. 25 Feb 2021 and ongoing
Make the Community Asset Transfer (CAT) process easier to understand

Essential Covid-19 response work delayed improvement work. A best practice session with 3 successful CAT organisations and 22 interested organisations was held on 3 March 2021 and the learning from this will influence the future process

During 2019-20, South Lanarkshire Council was the only CP partner that received CAT applications. The council worked with 16 organisations through the various stages of the process and so far one of these organisations has gone on to achieve formal asset transfer. The application approved was for Larkhall Churches Together with an extended 25 year lease for the Lighthouse Facility in Larkhall
March 2021
Use a variety of communication techniques

New fixed term officer post appointed

Establishment of communications network with local community groups ongoing

New Community Planning Communications Plan agreed by the Board and distributed to local community networks for comment.

September 2020

 

3 March 2021

Invest in volunteers The Partnership Board agreed to the creation of a strategy to support individuals and organisations in good quality volunteering opportunities. 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 communities@southlanarkshire.gov.uk or phone 0303 123 1017

Performance reports and the annual report can be found on the CPP website: 

 Community Plan and Neighbourhood Plans

Annual outcome improvement report 2019-20

 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. At the core of the framework is an agreed suite of performance indicators. We report the results for these indicators, over time, on the website. Additionally, you can compare our LGBF results with other councils' using the mylocalcouncil tool. Not all local authorities are alike and so family groups of eight ‘similar’ councils have been set up for comparison purposes. Workshops take place throughout the year to discuss the indicators and results – South Lanarkshire Council is actively involved in these discussions.

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