The group will bring together all partners involved in the community planning process and oversee tasks such as the development of guidance and building skills, and capacity to support improvement
It will also act as guardian of the overall community planning and single outcome agreement (SOA) process, offering strategic leadership, and driving the process forward.
Local Government Minister Derek Mackay announced the new appointment today. He said: “The Scottish Government and COSLA are agreed that we need a more joined-up approach to community planning and single outcome agreements which brings together political and administrative leadership from across the public sector to focus our efforts on improving outcomes for the people of Scotland. The new national group will have a key role to play in delivering that.
“I am delighted to announce that Pat Watters has agreed to be the chair of the national group. He has long experience of public service, not just as a councillor and former President of COSLA but as a member of the Christie Commission and most recently as co-Chair, along with myself and Councillor Rob Murray, of the community planning review.
“That experience and his continued commitment to improving outcomes for Scotland’s communities will be invaluable, and I look forward to working closely with him.
“The establishment of the national group will improve the effectiveness of community planning and SOAs. Success will be judged not in whether the processes work better but in whether they deliver better outcomes. That is where the value of community planning has to lie and I believe that is what, working together, we all want to achieve.”
Watters added: “I passionately believe in the power of effective community planning to deliver the very best results from public services. Scotland already has a strong record of joint working but the real challenge now is to grasp the opportunities we have to focus on driving forward effective community planning locally.
“That will require focus and effort and that is why I am delighted to have been asked to become the independent chair of the new national community planning group. We have a huge opportunity to achieve a genuinely new level of community planning, within a reforming public sector in Scotland, and I look forward to working with all parts of the public sector to make a real difference to Scotland’s communities.”
Click here for Holyrood’s full interview with Watters as he stepped down as president of COSLA.