Community planning challenges for Glasgow
Glasgow’s community planning partnership (CPP) faces “enormous challenges” not only due to its size but also in the complexity of the problems it faces, according to the chairman of Scotland’s public spending watchdog.
However, the Accounts Commission found the CPP has a “clear” sense of purpose and direction for tackling some of the city’s deep-seated social and economic problems. Community planning is a process which helps public agencies work together with the community to plan and deliver services which make a real difference to people’s lives.
The commission said it was encouraged by the CPP’s clear strategic direction for the next 10 years with its focus on three priorities – alcohol, youth employment and vulnerable people.
However, while there have been improvements over the last decade, Glasgow still lags behind other Scottish and comparable English cities for many key indicators, in part reflecting the complexity of the challenges it still faces.
Commission chairman Douglas Sinclair said: “Glasgow CPP faces enormous challenges not only due to its size but also in the complexity and deep-seated nature of the problems it faces.
“It has a clear focus on three priorities over the next 10 years. That’s a solid foundation but it is essential the momentum is maintained, joint working strengthened and clear targets set for its three priorities.”
Public sector partners in the CPP collectively spend more than £4bn a year, most of which is already committed to their individual programmes. Shifting and sharing more resources to specifically meet the longer-term preventative approaches in the CPP’s three priorities will be difficult.
The commission added the CPP needs to improve its understanding of how to best use its resources and move quickly from planning to implementation, and establish clear targets and effective systems of monitoring and scrutiny.
Glasgow City Council’s executive member for communities and CPP chairperson, Bailie Aileen Colleran, said: “The most important thing is that we are able to work together in ways that benefit Glasgow and enhance the lives of residents; so we are pleased that the audit team has recognised improvement and progress toward our targets.
“It is also welcome that they believe we have a clear strategic direction, accountability and committed leadership.
“The challenge that faces us all is to ensure that we are able to put these strengths to work and have a consistent, positive impact in communities across Glasgow.”