Community Engagement and Empowerment
Over the past decade North Ayrshire Council has been building its approach to community empowerment, strengthening communities and supporting community organisations. The strategic direction is set out in the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015.
Catch up on the 2020 Community and Locality Planning Conference.
Increasing community control over decisions and assets
Local people know their communities better than anyone, and working in partnership allows them to control their own decisions and shape their future.
Initiatives help empower communities. These include:
- Shaping North Ayrshire: one of the earliest pilots for the Consul platform with COSLA. Used to engage in consultations and debates such as the future of halls, centres and libraries, how we spend the council budget and climate change.
- Participatory Budgeting: empowers communities to decide how to spend their money on projects they believe in.
- Community Councils: the most local tier of government and embedded in Locality Partnerships.
- Development of Community Planning Locality Partnerships including the Community Investment Fund and our Local Development Plan which sets out our approach to integrating community and spatial planning.
- Initiatives for young people including our Youth Citizenship and Participation Strategy and youth participatory budgeting, together with plans and projects developed as a legacy of the Year of Young people in 2018.
- Help for our island communities including a pilot of the first Scottish joint Locality Planning Partnership and HSCP Locality Forum on Arran, our National Islands Plan co-developed with communities and the Millport Coastal Flood Protection Scheme
- Tenant Participation Strategy: listening and responding to the views of our tenants.
Community Empowerment in our work
Engagement, consultation and working with communities to deliver successful outcomes are at the core of our daily work.
Our Council Plan (PDF, 5.2mb) sets out our priorities and how we will work with communities to deliver it.
The Community Planning Partnership includes a Consultation and Engagement Hub which provides details on how to plan and submit a consultation and the Community Engagement Network offers a great opportunity for partners to come together and share news, opportunities, skills and experience and to contribute to the Community Engagement Strategy.
Our Community Learning and Development Strategic Plan sets out the importance on involving people, sharing priorities and ensuring workforce planning and governance underpin our commitment to meeting the needs of learners.
Building Better Relationships
As a result of engaging with communities to co-produce our approach to Locality Planning we have been rewarded with a Skills Development award from the Consultation Institute and a Bronze Award by COSLA. This has enabled us to join the Scottish Government steering group for the Community Empowerment strand of the Local Governance Review.
Other initiatives include:
- Chit Chat - an informal community engagement approach where we listen and take into account the views of local people.
- Participating in the national pilot of Place Standard a simple framework to structure conversations about place which allows you to think about the physical elements of a place (for example its buildings, spaces, and transport links) as well as the social aspects (for example whether people feel they have a say in decision making).
- Working with Carnegie UK as their UK test site for kindness which aims to encourage kindness in organisations and communities, to improve wellbeing and support empowerment for our residents.
Reducing inequalities and improving outcomes
Fairness and equality are at the heart of our Council Plan. We are determined to tackle inequalities and create a society where no one lives in poverty, where the economy is inclusive and where everyone has the same life chances to live fulfilling and healthy lives.
To ensure this happens we have a range of plans in place and support various events which include: