According to the Scottish Government, "Community Planning is a process which helps public agencies to work together with the community to plan and deliver better services which make a real difference to people's lives." The planning process tends to be led by Community Planning Partnerships.
A Community Planning Partnership (or CPP) is the name given to all those services that come together to take part in community planning. There are 32 CPPs across Scotland, one for each council area. Each CPP is responsible for developing and delivering a local development plan for its council area.
Effective community planning brings together the collective talents and resources of local public services and communities to drive positive change on local priorities. It focuses on where partners’ collective efforts and resources, can add most value for their local communities, with particular emphasis on reducing inequalities.
The aims of Community Planning in Scotland are:
- making sure people and communities are genuinely engaged in the decisions made on public services which affect them; allied to
- a commitment from organisations to work together, not apart, in providing better public services.
There are two further key principles in addition to the two main aims outlined above:
- Community Planning as the key over-arching partnership framework helping to co-ordinate other initiatives and partnerships and where necessary acting to rationalise and simplify a cluttered landscape;
- the ability of Community Planning to improve the connection between national priorities and those at regional, local and neighbourhood levels.
Effective engagement with communities is at the heart of Community Planning. There is no restriction on the type of community to be consulted, they can be linked to a place or can be a community of interest, for example young people. Information from engagement feeds in to the planning and delivery of public services, making them more responsive to the needs of users and communities. Partnerships should work together to coordinate community engagement activity and the information gathered. They can draw information on community views from a number of sources for example, the experience of service users, specific consultations, visioning exercises etc. Many Partnerships use the National Standards for Community Engagement to inform their work."
In practice individuals within communities are invited to comment on significantly developed plans rather than be involved from the very beginning. It is difficult to focus on smaller communities in this context and plans often cover a wide area with a number of different types of community.
Local Development Plans are being replaced by Local Outcome Improvement Plans see Legislation.