Community planning partnerships in Scotland have generally been a success but there is still work to be done, according to a new report.
Last year the Scottish Parliament’s Local Government and Regeneration Committee agreed to begin a three-part inquiry into public service reform.
The committee released its first report on the subject, which focuses on partnerships and outcomes, after hearing evidence from a variety of local authorities and other organisations.
Community planning is the process by which councils and other public sector bodies work together, with local communities, business and voluntary sectors, to plan and deliver better services.
All councils have established a community planning partnership (CPP) to lead and manage community planning in their area.
The committee examined the efficacy of CPPs and made recommendations for their improved future operation.
Committee Convener Joe Fitzpatrick MSP said: “Community planning partnerships can effect genuine change in our communities. Our committee experienced first-hand the positive impact that effective community planning partnerships can play in delivering public services in Scotland. Community planning partnerships can only do so, however, when all those involved in the partnership are prepared to work together and are working to shared goals. To do this there needs to be a cultural change within parts of the public sector and a recognition of the benefits true partnership working can bring.” The report stated that the ambitions for community planning partnerships “have not been fully realised”.
It said: “Moreover, the committee recognises that there remain barriers to improving the efficacy of community planning partnerships and will explore these in the next section of the report.
“In the meantime, however, the committee notes that on the basis of all the evidence received, CPPs have been a qualified success. It is critical that the value of partnership work is recognised. This message needs to be conveyed to partners in CPPs and the outcomes this approach can realise need to be stressed.
“To that end, the committee welcomes and endorses the affirmation of CPPs and partnership work contained in the statement of ambition as prepared by the Scottish Government and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA).
“It was clear to the committee, however, from the evidence it received that the cultural challenges pose the greatest test to partnership work and in turn the effectiveness of CPPs.”