Highland Council to review Area Committees
‘One-size does not fit all’ – was the message received at the last meeting of The Highland Council (on 12 March) as members agreed to a Review of Area Committees over the next two years.
Reporting to The Highland Council, Carron McDiarmid, Head of Policy and Reform thanked Area and Group Leaders who helped shaped a report on the Area Committee Review. She said:
“There are new duties coming to public bodies this summer under the Communities Empowerment legislation. These will support new rights for individuals and communities and we need to find new ways to respond to these locally.
“The review of Area Committees is coming at a time when we need to review local community planning arrangements and help District Partnerships to evolve. Taken together we have an opportunity to encourage more people to be involved in decisions affecting them; bring more public services under local democratic scrutiny; and create more local solutions.”
She added: “Recent national reports and guidance are about localising decision-making, getting communities involved in decisions and about tackling inequalities so that everyone’s voice can be heard.”
Members agreed that the review will take into account various forums for local decision-making and scrutiny including Area Committees, Ward and other Forums; Community Planning Partnerships and District Partnership meetings. Members will work with Ward Managers initially and develop proposals for trialling locally with partners and communities.