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by Kate Shannon
04 July 2013
Community planning partnerships “lack leadership”

Community planning partnerships “lack leadership”

Scotland’s community planning partnerships are “simply not delivering”, according to a Holyrood committee.

The Local Government and Regeneration Committee has released their report following a 16-month inquiry into public service reform.

The committee said parts of Scotland lack a “can-do” attitude when it comes to public sector reform and there has been a systemic lack of appetite for change amongst stakeholders.

Committee convener Kevin Stewart said: “It is clear to us that community planning partnerships are simply not delivering. There is a lack of leadership and poor communications and many are disconnected from the people they serve. This has meant little improvement in services or prospects for some of Scotland’s most disadvantaged communities.

“It is clear to us that change works best when it starts with communities and when public services listen to what these have to say. But too often people living and working in communities are ignored and when they are consulted, they are not listened to. We have seen for ourselves the success of community-led changes and public bodies must alter their approach and attitude to those to whom they supply services for this change to happen across Scotland.

“Far too many excuses are put in the way of action and the speed, scale and nature of the change within public services is simply not adequate.” During the course of the inquiry, the committee said it heard that community planning partnerships, which were established to create a link between communities and the public sector, have failed to deliver the promised improvements to public services.

President of the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities David O’Neill said he was extremely disappointed the committee failed to either come up with or even get behind any real moves for change. He claimed the report was a real missed opportunity.

He said: “To say that there is a systematic lack of appetite for change across the public sector is blatantly wrong and deliberately misleading.

“There is an absolute wish for change in local government but it has to be the right change, not simply change for change’s sake.

“Local government is already the most efficient transparent and trusted part of the public sector. In this time of austerity we are the first to realise that we need to change and that we need to be even more ambitious when it comes to reshaping and the delivery of our services.”

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