Part Two - Community Planning

This section of the website deals with Part Two of the Act - Community Planning.

Part two of the Community Empowerment Act made significant changes to community planning legislation, previously contained in Part two of the Local Government in Scotland Act 2003. Community planning now has a clear statutory purpose focused on improving outcomes. It is explicitly about how public bodies work together and with the local community to plan for, resource and provide services which improve local outcomes in the local authority area, all with a view to reducing inequalities.

These reforms aim to recognise that:

  • It is unlikely that any public sector body can most effectively meet its own business requirements by working in isolation.
  • Public bodies need to work closely in partnership with each other and their local communities in order to make the biggest difference in the outcomes for which they are responsible.
  • How public sector bodies and communities do this should reflect often distinctive local conditions.

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 Local Authority area. Each CPP focuses on where partners' collective efforts and resources can add the most value to their local communities, with particular emphasis on reducing inequality.

The 2015 Act expands the number of public sector bodies that are subject to community planning duties. These are now:
- local authority
- the Health Board
- Scottish Enterprise / Highlands and Islands Enterprise
 -Police Scotland
 -Scottish Fire and Rescue Service
 -Regional Transport Partnership
 -Historic Environment Scotland
 - Health and Social care Integration Joint Board for the area
- a National Park authority
- the board of management of a regional college
- a regional strategic body under the Further and Higher Education (Scotland) Act 200
- Scottish Environment Protection Agency
- NatureScot (formerly Scottish Natural Heritage) 
- Scottish Sports Council ( i.e. Sportscotland)
- Skills Development Scotland

Community participation

Community participation lies at the heart of community planning, and applies in the development, design and delivery of plans as well as in their review, revision and reporting. Consultation is no longer enough - CPPs must take all reasonable steps to secure the involvement in community planning of any community body which it considers is likely to be able to contribute to it, to the extent that the community body wishes.

They must in particular have regard to community bodies which represent those communities experiencing socio-economic disadvantage. And statutory community planning partners must contribute such funds, staff and other resources as the CPP considers appropriate to secure participation of community bodies in community planning.

Whilst the provisions in the 2015 Act sets out statutory duties on CPPs and community planning partners, effective community planning requires more than simply complying with these duties. CPPs and community planning partners need to apply the principles of effective community planning summarised in this guidance, as without them community planning is unlikely to make the difference to people and communities that it can and should.

CPP plans
CPPs are responsible for producing two types of plan to describe their local priorities and planned improvements:

  • Local Outcomes Improvement Plans (LOIP), which sets out the local outcomes which the CPP will cover for improvements. 
  • Locality Plans, which cover smaller areas within the CPP area, usually focusing on areas that will benefit most from improvement. Each CPP will produce at least one Locality Plan and some CPPs will produce many – there is no fixed number. 

 Local Outcomes Improvement Plans (supported by Locality Plans) 

The CEA requires CPPs to:

  • Prepare and publish a Local Outcomes Improvement Plan (LOIP) which sets out the outcomes  which the CPP will prioritise for improvement across the entire council area. 
  • Review and report publicly on progress towards their LOIP and locality plans, and keep the continued suitability of these plans under review.

A Local Outcome Improvement plan :

  • Should set out clear and agreed priorities for improving local outcomes and on tackling inequalities, and demonstrate a robust link between these and the CPP’s understanding of local needs, circumstances and aspirations.
  • Identify those geographical communities / communities of interest that experience significantly poorer outcomes.
  • Outline how participation with communities, businesses and third sector has helped to develop and influence this understanding.

With the clear focus of the LOIPs on reducing inequality and improving outcomes for the most disadvantaged communities, LOIPs should identify those areas where CPPs will have the greatest impact.

Each local authority area has a LOIP and if you are taking on an asset it is really important you look at the plan to see what the local priorities and how your project would fit with or provide an answer for these. This will help strengthen your argument for taking ownership

More information on all aspects of Community Planning can be found on the Scottish Government CP webpage.