Time Period for the Review of Plans
What we asked
Consultation Question 3 re: a specific time period for the review of plans
Q3: The 2015 Act requires CPPs to keep under review the question of whether it is making progress in the achievement of each local outcome in their LOIP and locality plan(s). CPPs must from time to time review their LOIP and locality plan(s) under review, and to revise them where appropriate. Even with this, do you think the statutory guidance should require CPPs to review and if necessary revise their plans after a specific period of time in every case? If so, what should that specific period be?
Yes ◘ No ◘
Please explain why.
49. The 2015 Act states in section 7 that each CPP "must from time to time review the local outcomes improvement plan". Section 11 places an equivalent duty on CPPs for their locality plans.
50. The draft guidance makes clear that "the CPP must ensure that its LOIP remains up to date and appropriate for delivering improvement on themes which reflect local needs, circumstances and aspirations" (paragraph 147 refers). Paragraph 170 states the same for locality plans and emphasises the import of community participation throughout community planning by stating that having reviewed the locality plan the " CPP may then revise the locality plan, where it and the community bodies consider this appropriate".
51. Question 3 in the consultation attempted to ascertain respondents views as to whether there was a need for Scottish Government to specify a set period of time for review and if so what it should be and why.
Q3 respondents views: review of plans
52. 75 respondents provided a yes/no response to this question. 39 respondents replied yes with 36 respondents replying no. 17 respondents did not reply to the yes /no component of the question. 4 of the 17 respondents who did not indicate a preference included comments in the explanatory section below the question.
53. 41 respondents indicated that decisions on timescale should be flexible enough to allow for local circumstances and be locally determined. Hence there is a small majority both for a specific time period to be placed in guidance and, conversely, local determination of what that time period should be.
54. Preferred approaches which respondents identified included nationally set timescales, locally determined periods and an upper limit or range within which CPPs must undertake their review. Some respondents expressed reasons for supporting more than one of these differing approaches.
Support for nationally set timeframe within which CPPs must review their plans
55. Those respondents who expressed a preference for a nationally set timescale proposed a wide variety of options for revision of local outcomes improvement plans and locality plans. These varied, with no clear consensus, from continuous on-going review, through annually, bi -annually, every 3 years, between 3 and 5 years, 4 to 6 years and beyond.
56. A third sector respondent considered that consistency of review for all CPPs would support performance benchmarking with an individual respondent expressing that communities want to be able to "compare performance and ranking of their CPP against others". This view was supported by some NHS and public bodies, particularly for those who participate in multiple CPPs who favoured, what they considered to be, a consistency of approach.
57. Some Local Authority and Community Planning Partnership respondents considered it to be helpful if the review timetable for the local outcomes improvement plan was aligned to local election cycles, which the local authority considered may aid the "consistency for focus at that strategic level". A CPP represented a widely held view that it would be helpful to align with review periods for partners' strategic plans and strategy cycles.
Support for timescales to review plans to be locally determined
58. 41 respondents indicated a preference for local determination of review timeframes. A key reason given was to enable CPPs to align and link timeframes for LOIPs and locality plans with those applying to plans for community justice, integrated joint board strategic plans, children's services plans, spatial planning, etc. As one CPP respondent replied "flexibility allows CPPs to align their local outcome plans with existing local planning cycles and structures, facilitating a streamlined approach which best suits local need."
59. A Public Body, who replied no, simply commented that "if time periods are to be set then it would be helpful to align with other nationally required timeframes".
60. A small number of respondents from across categories considered that guidance could set out the expectation that CPPs should provide assurance that a review timescale and process is in place and carried out, without that timescale being prescribed nationally. This was articulated by a CPP respondent who recommended that a "requirement was placed on the CPP to set appropriate timescales….The rationale for these timescales to be clear and transparent" and by a Local Authority respondent who considered that whilst it was for the CPP to determine any review timetable locally, that this review commitment should be made public to their local communities.
61. Other Community Planning Partnership respondents replied that there are already well-established reporting and review processes for CPPs and that CPPs should "be given flexibility to set review periods based on their own knowledge and understanding" in response to local circumstances. A third sector respondent noted that "plans should be flexible with reviews set accordingly that suit local conditions and circumstances". This appears to echo earlier comments about potential contradiction between local community empowerment with common nationally set measures or conditions.
62. The range of local conditions and circumstances was also given as a reason for local determination by a local authority who replied no to a specified nationally set timeframe summarised thus "Given that CPPs have different structures for delivery it would be difficult to set a time for review and revision that would suit everyone". Other CPP responses noted the challenge of ensuring synergy in partners' interactions with other strategic plans.
Support for upper limit or range
63. A number of respondents including CPPs, local authorities, third sector and other public bodies proposed a range or upper limit to the timeframe with local determination within these parameters, to provide a degree of flexibility to enable a local response to changing local circumstances.
64. A local authority who responded no explained that a "specified time period for review may potentially lead to the establishment of a bureaucratic planning cycle". This supported the views of a small number of others who expressed that it was more important to ensure that plans lead to improvement and that what is being reviewed is meaningful and transparent for stakeholders and communities.