New Community Partnership arrangements for Caithness
At today’s (Wednesday 31 August) meeting of the Caithness Committee councillors had the chance to discuss the work underway to create a new community partnership in the area to support local planning arrangements.
The Highland Community Planning Partnership Board agreed at their meeting on 30th June to establish 9 local partnerships across the Highlands, one of which will cover Caithness. These partnerships will provide a focus for local discussion, engagement with communities and identifying priorities for the local area.
Under the terms of the Community Empowerment Act, community planning is to become a shared duty facilitated by Police Scotland, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, NHS Highland and The Highland Council. Along with representation from the Third Sector, community planning will also involve a further 10 partners including SNH, SEPA, the Scottish Sports Council, HITRANS, Skills Development Scotland and Visit Scotland.
The Community Partnerships will replace the current District Partnership arrangements and the first meetings in Caithness will take place from October this year onwards.
The core remit for the new Partnerships will be to:
• Develop Local Plans for Children and Adults
• Develop Locality Plans/Community Learning and Development plans focusing on communities facing the greatest level of inequality as a result of socio-economic disadvantage
• Identify local actions and priorities
Caithness Committee Chair, Councillor Roger Saxon said: “Today’s agenda item has given us a good opportunity to discuss in more detail how the new Partnership will work in Caithness. This new local level approach, pulling together a wide number of partners is a significant change for everyone. All elected members will have an important role to play so it was encouraging to hear such positive comments around the table today that underpin the committee’s commitment and determination to ensure the new Partnership is a success.
“For me Community Planning is all about working effectively together to address local issues and priorities in order to benefit those living and working in Caithness, especially when it comes to tackling inequalities. The new arrangements will, I believe, give more flexibility and therefore more scope for local needs to be considered and reflected in decisions taken.
“I’m personally looking forward to working with a wider number of partners as we will all be sharing a common goal which is working together to improve people’s lives for the future.”