Minister meets the team behind the Inverness Community Partnership
During a visit to Inverness today (Thursday 17 August), the Minister for Social Security Jeane Freeman had the opportunity to find out more about the role of the Inverness Community Partnership, which serves the seven City Wards, and hear first-hand about the projects and work already underway and planned for the future.
In June 2016 The Highland Community Planning Partnership agreed to create nine Community planning Partnerships across Highland. This was to support the local planning requirements set out in the Community Empowerment Act and the Public Bodies (Joint Working) Act but also to strengthen the engagement and planning between services and communities at a local level.
The Inverness Community Partnership, representing both rural and urban communities, meets on a quarterly basis with sub-groups meeting monthly. Membership includes Police Scotland, The Highland Council, NHS Highland, Scottish Fire & Rescue Service, Highland & Islands Enterprise, HighLife Highland, The Merkinch Partnership, Workers Educational Association and Signpost, the local Third Sector Interface agency. It is facilitated by The Highland Council and chaired by Depute Provost and City Leader Councillor Graham Ross.
At today’s meeting, held in the Merkinch Welfare Hall, Councillor Ross talked to the Minister about the aims of the Partnership and how new ways of working have opened up to effectively focus on local issues and needs and engage with communities.
Current work underway includes producing a locality plans for the Merkinch area of the City using information gathered from door-to-door visits; community conversations, drop-in sessions and informal conversations when public agencies visit homes.
Speaking after the visit, Councillor Ross said: “Today was a good chance to talk to the Minister about the work of the Partnership which I believe has made good progress since it was set up at the end of last year. It is all about working collaboratively with the people of Inverness to focus on priorities and deliver better outcomes for the Partnership area.
“The agencies, community groups and individuals taking part all share the goal of wanting to make our communities more inclusive and accessible places to live and work. At our first public meeting held in June we discussed the best ways to communicate with people, how to make the area a better place for children and adults and discussed a local plan for Merkinch which is why it was fitting that the Minister met us today in Merkinch where work on-the-ground is underway.
“There is much yet to be done in terms of further engagement with local communities and the development of Locality Action Plans but I am pleased that the structures are now in place that will support future development .”
Members of the public are invited to attend the Partnership meetings and the next meeting will take place at 7pm on Wednesday 27 September at the Merkinch Family Centre.