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Publication - Guidance

Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015, part 2 Community Planning: guidance

Published: 20 Dec 2016
Part of:
Communities and third sector
ISBN:
9781786527073

This guidance is to help support those who wish to take part in community planning.

51 page PDF

386.2kB

51 page PDF

386.2kB

Contents
Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015, part 2 Community Planning: guidance
A: Principles of effective community planning

51 page PDF

386.2kB

A: Principles of effective community planning

Community participation

Summary of Expectations

  • The CPP and community planning partners work with community bodies to ensure that all bodies which can contribute to community planning are able to do so in an effective way and to the extent that they wish to do so.
  • The CPP and community planning partners have a clear understanding of distinctive needs and aspirations of communities of place and interest within its area, as a result of effective participation with community bodies.
  • Effective community participation informs decisions about the CPP's priorities, how services are shaped and resources deployed; this includes working with community bodies on co-production where these bodies wish to do so.
  • Effective community participation informs how the CPP manages and scrutinises performance and progress, and how it revises its actions to meet its ambitions as a result of its performance management.
  • The CPP embraces the principles of effective co-production which is aimed at combining the mutual strengths and capacities of all partners (including community bodies) to achieve positive change.

Introduction

1. The CPP and its community planning partners should demonstrate a clear commitment to securing effective participation with community bodies throughout community planning, by engaging actively with communities of place and interest. Effective community participation is essential to assist the CPP to secure improved outcomes and reduced inequalities. It can also stimulate improved self-esteem, raised aspirations within these communities, and capacity to try to do more.

2. This commitment to securing effective participation from community bodies should be led, planned and managed effectively at a partnership level, with strong shared leadership from all partners including community bodies. Approaches should be informed by the National Standards for Community Engagement and supported by such tools and frameworks as are appropriate. Leaders should promote a culture throughout their respective organisations which is committed to the ideal of communities as equal partners, and support innovate ways to involve and empower communities.

Identifying Community Bodies

3. The 2015 Act requires CPPs and community planning partners both to engage with those community bodies which are likely to be able to contribute to community planning, and to participate with these bodies in community planning to the extent that those bodies wish to do so (section 4(3) and (6)).

4. Section 4(9) defines "community bodies" for this purpose. These are bodies, whether or not formally constituted, established for purposes which consist of or include that of promoting or improving interests of any communities however resident or otherwise present in the area of the CPP.

5. Formally constituted bodies can include, for example, community councils, tenant or resident associations, and local business associations. These bodies can support the interests of communities of place and communities of interest ( e.g. young people leaving care; vulnerable adults; the local business community; those with protected characteristics such as disabled people; or people from black and minority ethnic communities.)

6. The CPP should also engage with third sector organisations, where doing so can support effective participation from community groups that can contribute to community planning. Third Sector Interfaces should support effective community planning, by building links between third sector bodies and the CPP.

7. A substantial number of community bodies are also regarded as third sector organisations [1] . While the CPP may determine that it cannot engage with every community body in the way and to the extent that each body might wish, it should be open and transparent in making clear to bodies why it has reached the decisions it has in order to support how it fulfils its broader duty to secure effective community planning.

Applying this Principle

8. Community participation should closely inform all aspects of community planning, including understanding of needs, circumstances and opportunities; setting priorities; responding to those priorities and reviewing progress. The CPP and its partners should shape their engagement activity with a view to securing active, constructive and ongoing participation from community bodies. This engagement will inform, for instance, when and how this activity is undertaken, and what local information and other support the CPP and partners provide to facilitate effective participation. Effective links may be made for example, with statutory consultation requirements on the development plan.

9. Securing participation from communities requires commitment from the CPP and partners to strengthen the capacity of community bodies, wherever this is needed to build effective community involvement in decision-making, policy development and service provision. Community capacity building is especially important to secure the participation of those sections of the community which are otherwise less engaged than other sections in community planning. This includes in particular community bodies which represent the interests of persons who experience inequalities of outcome which result from socio-economic or other disadvantage. Community planning partners should seek to maximise the impact of community learning and development by focusing activity on the most disadvantaged communities.

10. Section 14(3)(b) gives a statutory basis to this requirement, by requiring community planning partners to contribute such funds, staff and other resources as the CPP considers appropriate to secure that participation. The CPP should ensure that there is a particular focus on supporting the participation of those people who face additional barriers to involvement. The CPP and its partners - including Third Sector bodies and, importantly, community bodies themselves - should view capacity building as a shared responsibility.

11. Through their engagement and capacity building activity, the CPP and partners should develop and maintain a strong understanding of local needs, circumstances and opportunities. These needs and aspirations are likely to be complex and constantly evolving, and so the CPP and its community planning partners will need to maintain ongoing engagement with community bodies. In turn community bodies and the communities they represent should feel that their voices have been heard and change has taken place as a result of their involvement.

12. Techniques such as charrettes, an innovative multi-disciplinary approach to development in the built environment or use of the Place Standard which supports the delivery of high quality places in Scotland and to maximise the potential of the physical and social environment in supporting health, wellbeing and a high quality of life, can support effective community engagement which is central to the delivery of successful, sustainable places.

13. Partners should collaboratively align their community participation activity. The aim is to: pool community engagement expertise and resources; reduce engagement fatigue amongst communities; provide a more efficient use of community as well as public partner resource; and maximise the impact of community participation in community planning.

14. The CPP should ensure that its structure and organisation ensure a strategic, full and clear role for community bodies in its organisation and in its decision-making across all levels. From this and how the CPP more broadly secures participation from community bodies in community planning, community needs and aspirations should strongly inform the CPP's understanding of local needs and circumstances as well as its clear vision for local communities and the priorities it sets for improvement in its LOIP. These decisions may not fully satisfy the wishes of every community body, so the CPP should be transparent and provide reasoning for their choice of actions.

15. The perspective of communities is also important for decisions on how to deliver and resource actions to achieve ambitions in the LOIP. This is especially true when tackling multi-faceted and deep-rooted challenges which result in cumulative impact and poorer outcomes for some sections of the community, in these circumstances it is particularly important that interventions are shaped around the needs, circumstances and aspirations of targeted groups.

16. CPPs should work with communities to consider and, where appropriate, develop opportunities to co-produce services with communities where those communities wish and have the capacity to do so. In simple terms, this means working with rather than doing to people and communities, to achieve better outcomes. This can harness communities' ambitions to fulfil their own potential, building on their knowledge, experience, talents and aptitude; and from this, support positive outcomes. It can be an effective way of pursuing prevention.

17. Section 4(6)(c) requires CPPs to take such steps as are reasonable to enable communities bodies who wish to participate in community planning to do so. In line with section 14(3)(b), community planning partners should provide such resources as the CPP considers appropriate to secure the participation of community bodies in community planning. This should include support where needed to support community bodies to engage in co-production (reflecting the duty in section 4(6)(c)).

18. One example of how CPPs can gain a community perspective is by using Participatory Budgeting as a tool for enhanced community engagement and as a development of participatory democracy. Participatory Budgeting gives local people a direct say in how and where public funds can be used to address locally identified requirements by providing the opportunity to identify preferences and allocate spend within defined parameters.

19. A commitment to community participation is also important to how the CPP monitors performance and progress against its ambitions, how it ensures sufficient challenge and scrutiny of this progress, and how it revises its actions to meet these ambitions in response. Intelligence about the views and experiences of local communities should form part of a portfolio of evidence which underpins the CPP's approach to effective performance management. This, for instance, should enable the CPP to review and evaluate how well local people feel they are involved in local decision making and how well local services are meeting their needs and aspirations. It should also assist the CPP to identify progress towards ambitions in specific communities of place or of interest that might be masked in data that covers the whole CPP area.

20. This intelligence about the views and experiences of local communities may be built in a variety of ways. However it should include opportunities for community bodies to participate fully within the CPP's formal monitoring channels.

21. CPPs should establish on-going monitoring and evaluation processes (including the annual progress report to their communities) as a means to communicate, explain and encourage further community participation in community planning. CPPs should describe the extent to which they have been effective in enabling community bodies to contribute to community planning in this progress report (section 8(2) of the 2015 Act refers). This measure of participation and impact is designed to encourage CPPs to place communities at the centre of community planning so that community perspectives can contribute throughout.

22. Effective community participation requires the CPP to demonstrate clearly ways in which it has improved local peoples' lives. The CPP is accountable to communities for the progress it makes towards its community planning ambitions for the local area. Section 14(4) makes it clear that each partner must provide such information about local outcomes as the partnership requests which could include contributions to the published annual report.

23. Annual published progress reports should be accessible and readily available to communities in formats which enable communities to understand the direction and scale of progress. Reporting requirements for communities may therefore differ from those for other partners. Securing the participation of communities on an on-going basis will require that those communities see and understand the impact of community planning activity on their lives.

24. Sections 8 and 12 of the 2015 Act require the CPP to publish annual reports which, respectively, describe progress made towards ambitions in their LOIP and locality plans. Progress reports should provide communities with an assessment of progress that is accurate and current. The annual progress report on the LOIP should also include an assessment of how the CPP and community planning partners have participated with community bodies during the reporting year, and how effective that has been in enabling community bodies to shape and influence community planning (s.8(2)(b) refers).

Tackling inequalities

Summary of Expectations

  • The CPP has a strong understanding of which households and communities, both of place and of interest, in its area experience inequalities of outcome which impact on their quality of life.
  • The CPP focuses its collective energy on where its partners' efforts can add most value for its communities, with particular emphasis on reducing inequalities.
  • The CPP develops locality and thematic approaches as appropriate to address these, with participation from community bodies representing the interests of persons experiencing inequalities.
  • The CPP should build the capacity of communities, particularly those experiencing inequality, to enable those communities, both geographic and of interest, to identify their own needs and opportunities; and support their efforts to participate effectively in community planning, including in the co-production of services.

Introduction

25. The duties in the Equality Act (2010) and the Specific Duties (Scotland) Regulations 2012 to which statutory community planning partners are subject to in how they conduct their business are equally relevant in a community planning context. Further, each CPP in carrying out community planning must act with a view to reducing inequalities (section 5 of the 2015 Act refers).

26. The importance of tackling inequalities is built into both the Christie Commission report and the Scottish Government's Public Service Reform agenda. They recognised that public services are important to us all, but are of particular importance in improving the lives of the vulnerable and disadvantaged in our society. With our public services facing increasing pressures, in part to deal with the consequences of disadvantage and vulnerability, and with significant constraints on public spending imposed by the UK Government in Westminster, our public services more than ever need to meet the needs of the people and the communities they seek to support.

27. Community planning has a particularly important role in tackling inequalities. Multiple negative outcomes tend to befall the same households and communities, whether those communities are geographic or of interest. History tells us that piecemeal approaches which target one outcome at a time tend to have limited success.

28. Addressing multiple negative outcomes requires multi-faceted responses which address their collective impact on affected communities. Community planning brings together the partners who can respond in this integrated way. It is through the prism of addressing socio economic inequality that CPPs can prioritise their efforts towards where they can make the biggest difference to peoples' lives, enabling them to thrive, with local services designed responsively to changing local needs and circumstances. The 2015 Act now reflects this recognition about the role of community planning in tackling inequalities. It includes a specific duty on CPPs when carrying out their functions under Part 2 of the Act to act with a view to reducing inequalities of outcome which result from socio-economic disadvantage (section 5), unless the CPP consider it would be inappropriate to do so.

Applying this Principle

29. As in all aspects of how a CPP and its partners act to tackle inequalities, the communities in question may be communities of place or of interest. The CPP should act with a view to tackling inequalities in all aspects of its work, throughout community planning and not only through its locality planning.

30. It is for each CPP to identify which communities in its area experience inequalities of outcome which impact upon the quality of life for those communities, and the extent of these inequalities. It should establish this as a central part of how it builds its understanding of local needs, circumstances and opportunities.

31. Inequalities are not always experienced in neat concentrations of people in communities. They may apply to particular communities of place, communities of interest or even individual households. So the CPP will need to use its understanding of the distribution and extent of such inequalities to be able to tackle these effectively and efficiently. In all cases, the CPP and its partners should recognise the multi-faceted and inter-connected nature of inequalities facing these communities, as it works through approaches to reduce these.

32. The CPP should then reflect this understanding of inequalities in setting its local priorities. It may choose to focus one or more of its priorities on improving outcomes for particular communities experiencing poorer outcomes. Where the CPP instead sets a local priority around an outcome theme ( e.g. employability or healthy life expectancy), it should consider interventions which reduce inequalities as well as improve outcomes.

33. CPP partners should then deploy resources in ways that will have most impact in targeting inequalities in outcomes. The duties on locality planning in sections 9-12 of the Act reflect the fact that inequalities of outcome are often most stark when disaggregated to small neighbourhood level, showing the value of targeting and customising services to particular communities.

34. Effective engagement with communities should be integral to approaches to tackle inequalities. Communities will often be best placed to understand their needs and shape responses which can address these effectively. CPPs should build the capacity of communities, particularly those experiencing inequality, to better enable those communities to identify their own needs and aspirations and support their efforts to participate throughout community planning, including in the co-production of services, to the extent that the community wish to.

35. The Act places a duty on community planning partners around this. Section 14(3)(b) requires community planning partners to contribute such funds, staff and other resources as the CPP agrees in order to secure the participation of community bodies in community planning, having regard in particular to those representing the interests of persons experiencing inequalities. The CPP may find that understanding how other communities in their area successfully articulate their views can provide valuable insights that can help them work with those communities who need it most.

36. Although CPPs must act with a view to reducing inequality, this does not mean that every single action a CPP takes must in and of itself demonstrably act to reduce inequality. Section 5 of the 2015 Act recognises this, by providing that a CPP need not comply with the duty to act with a view to reducing inequalities if it considers that it would be inappropriate to do so. This allows CPPs to, for example, undertake measures to support local economic development such as encouraging the growth of business sectors that require highly skilled and highly rewarded employees. It is reasonable to expect that securing such employment contributes to improving outcomes in the area, and can sit within a portfolio of priorities for that CPP which otherwise places a strong emphasis on tackling inequality.

Shared leadership

Summary of Expectations

  • Partners demonstrate collective ownership, leadership and strategic direction of community planning.
  • Partners use their shared leadership role to ensure the CPP sets an ambitious vision with and for local communities; the CPP involves all partners and resources that can contribute towards delivering on that vision; and that partners deliver on it.
  • The CPP is clear about how they work with public service reform programmes (including health and social care integration and community justice reforms).

Why Strong Shared Leadership is needed

37. Shared leadership is needed to ensure collective ownership for effective community planning in an area. Strong shared leadership provides a CPP with a clear strategic direction and stretching ambitions for local communities, and also momentum to drive progress and secure continuous improvement.

Who Shared Leadership Applies to

38. Shared leadership is a corporate responsibility for each partner body. The effectiveness of this depends on the drive and enthusiasm which leaders within partner organisations personally demonstrate to how their organisation engages in community planning. This includes the body's senior management, board members and political leaders.

39. While traditionally community planning has tended to be seen as a council-led exercise in which other bodies participated but did not lead, effective community planning now requires every community planning partner to contribute to strong shared leadership. This includes those partners which participate while not having statutory community planning duties under the 2015 Act ( e.g. the Third Sector Interface, community representatives, housing associations and co-operatives).

What Strong Shared Leadership Involves from CPPs

40. Within the CPP, one key feature of strong shared leadership is ensuring it has a clear vision for local communities, built on a strong and up-to-date understanding of local needs, circumstances and opportunities, shaped by effective community participation. Another is to ensure a positive committed response in delivering that vision, in how partners work together and with communities to set and achieve ambitious progress on collaboratively agreed key priorities. This includes their commitment to prevention and to ensuring sufficient collective resource is in place to deliver on agreed priorities.

41. CPPs should also ensure they are clear about how community planning can and should add value to, and in turn benefit from, other public service reforms. In particular, CPPs should consider how their work can most effectively work alongside, and gain from, other areas of public service reform including health and social care integration and community justice.

42. CPPs and community planning partners need not limit their focus on collaboration to within their own area. They should consider where there may be opportunities to build connections with neighbouring or other CPP areas, wherever this can support efforts towards improving outcomes or working more efficiently.

What Strong Shared Leadership Requires from Community Planning Partners

43. A community planning partner will demonstrate strong leadership both through how it engages in the work of the CPP, which includes how it uses opportunities that community planning can provide to pursue its own outcome responsibilities, and in how it reflects priorities agreed by the CPP in its own work.

44. The Act imposes statutory duties on community planning partners. Each partner must co co-operate with the other partners in carrying out community planning (section 14(2)), and provide such funds, staff and other resources as the CPP decides is appropriate to deliver on its commitments (section 14(3)). Community planning partners must also take account of the agreed LOIP in carrying out its functions (section 14(5)).

45. Each partner should be ambitious and creative in its approach to community planning. It should view community planning as more than a responsibility with which they must comply. Community planning also provides an opportunity to engage with other partners and pool collective resource in order to drive improvements in outcomes in which they have interests which may be both shared and interdependent, and which can contribute to achievement of the partner's own organisational objectives.

46. In doing so, partners should ensure that their ambition and creativity covers all of their responsibilities which can contribute to, or be supported by, community planning. For instance, community planning can be used to target priorities which can assist NHS Boards in pursuing prevention, anticipation and supported self-management across all their services, in line with Scottish Government's 2020 Vision for healthcare in Scotland. And within local authorities, for instance, housing and local transport services may be relevant to supporting community planning priorities. And the development planning role of planning officers can be important in helping to set a framework for the local infrastructure which can underpin long-term community planning ambitions.

47. The specific contribution of statutory and non-statutory partners to local community planning will depend on the extent to which the CPP's local priorities reflect the individual body's role and responsibilities. So CPPs should understand the specific contributions that individual partners can make to improving each of its agreed outcomes. This includes engaging with bodies which are not statutory partners and which have previously not been closely involved in community planning, wherever this can add value to delivering one or more of these local outcomes.

48. As a result, a CPP may agree that particular community planning partners need not comply with a duty related to a particular local outcome, or need comply only to the extent as is agreed (section 14(1)). This would most likely arise where the CPP recognised that a particular community planning partner had no relevant contribution to offer to deliver a particular local outcome.

49. Each community planning partner is jointly responsible for fulfilling the ambitions the CPP agrees to. As a result, objective on-going reviews of progress and recalibration of needs and ambitions, with mutual challenge wherever needed, are fundamental elements of effective and proactive shared leadership. CPPs should not view these as simply a function of formal governance.

Some Approaches for Applying Shared Leadership

50. The Christie Commission report highlighted the role of leaders in ensuring the involvement of front-line staff and communities in the transformation of service provision. This requires a sustained personal effort by leaders to shift organisational cultures and operations towards an all-inclusive change agenda. At an operational level this includes proportionate local autonomy and development support where needed for professionals so that they are empowered and supported to work with the local community and across professional boundaries to collaboratively develop local responses.

51. Shared leadership does not apply only to the CPP Board. It should be an approach that is translated locally and reflected in the organisational practices and cultures of community planning partners at all levels of community planning (including strategic, management and operational).

52. A recent report [2] encapsulates characteristics for effective shared leadership among public sector leaders well. It suggests that the best public sector leaders of the future "will demonstrate a series of new abilities and behaviours that encompass multiple skill sets. They will be adept at connecting people, information and resources to deliver through complex networks. They will operate with a default level of transparency towards their colleagues and citizens, and use social media to engage both continually. Their decisions will be informed by evidence and they will test out their thinking by iterative processes as part of innovation."

Governance and accountability

Summary of Expectations

  • The CPP understands what effective community planning requires, and the improvement needs for it and its partners.
  • The CPP and its partners apply effective challenge and scrutiny in community planning, built on mutual trust, a shared and ambitious commitment to continuous improvement, and a culture that promotes and accepts challenge among partners.
  • The CPP organises itself in an effective way, which provides platforms for strong strategic decision-making and action, and effective scrutiny and challenge.
  • The CPPs and partners can demonstrate, including to local communities through annual progress reports, how they are working effectively in partnership to improve outcomes as part of how they are held to account.

Why Strong Governance and Accountability is Needed

53. Governance and accountability should provide assurance that community planning in an area is working effectively for the benefit of local communities and in line with statutory duties set out in the 2015 Act.

54. Ensuring community planning is effective is first and foremost the responsibility of the CPP and its partners. It is vital that the CPP takes responsibility for its own performance and improvement. Can the CPP demonstrate it is making a difference, reducing inequalities in outcomes, applying preventative approaches and using its collective resources to get the maximum benefit for communities? All community planning partners should contribute towards strong shared leadership which sets an ambitious vision and supporting targets for community planning in the area, and drives progress towards these.

What Strong Governance and Accountability Requires from CPPs and Community Planning Partners

55. Each CPP must put in place administrative structures and operational arrangements which support effective and efficient community planning. How CPPs do this ( e.g. with thematic and/or area sub-groups; in how they build locality planning into their arrangements) is for the CPP to decide for themselves.

56. The most effective scrutiny and challenge in community planning is embedded as an integral part of how the CPP conducts its day-to-day business. To make this happen on an on-going basis, all community planning partners need to test and scrutinise progress, and wherever necessary challenge each other, in effective ways which support continuous improvement. This provides accountability by partners to each other within the CPP, and includes challenging each partner on whether and how they are contributing to the CPP's priorities in its LOIP and locality plans.

57. It is for each CPP to determine how to resolve challenges between partners whether they are from public sector, third sector or community bodies. Each CPP should ensure that its structure and operations, including in its assessment of risk, provide the opportunity to air differing views transparently. It should bring together those with appropriate expertise and authority to take actions to resolve these disputes. The CPP should be clear about why the partnership has collaboratively agreed to act in the way it has and articulate this to partners including communities.

58. In any case, community planning partners need to hold and demonstrate the skills and culture that are needed to create effective challenge, within an operating culture in which they can both build and maintain good on-going relations and hold colleagues to account for their respective contributions and performance.

59. Another key aspect of effective governance is the management of risk. The CPP should discuss and agree what potential risks the community and the partnership is exposed to, including failure to improve outcomes and reduce inequalities and develop a risk management strategy to monitor and manage these risks appropriately, including any mitigating actions for each identifiable risk to success.

60. The CPP and its partners should be clear about how effectively they are performing, and identify and address improvement needs. Community body perspectives can be important for informing this understanding of performance. And self-assessments can help CPPs diagnose strengths and improvement needs, and provide a catalyst for further improvement actions.

Specific Statutory Governance Duties

61. Section 13 of the Act places a duty on certain community planning partners (the local authority, NHS board, enterprise body, Police Scotland and SFRS) to take reasonable steps to ensure that the CPP carries out its functions under Part 2 of the Act efficiently and effectively. This duty provides a formal focus on a small group of key and influential partners in the CPP to drive effective community planning. These partners should be able to demonstrate how, individually and together, they fulfil this duty. Nevertheless, the day-to-day practical responsibility to ensure community planning works effectively falls to all community planning partners, and not just those listed in section 13.

62. Each CPP will have a top-level board or committee, which should provide strategic leadership and oversight of how the CPP conducts its business and fulfils its ambitions. In some cases, this Committee will also exercise executive functions. In others, a separate board comprising non-executive members might be established to provide this strategic leadership and oversight.

63. It is up to each CPP to decide how it organises itself. In doing so, it should ensure that its structure provides a place or places for both strategic decision-making involving senior representatives of community planning partners with high levels of authority, and strategic leadership and oversight involving senior figures (those who have the appropriate skills which might include elected members and public body board members) who can hold senior executives to account for how they drive community planning. It should also ensure that everyone involved in community planning is clear about their own respective role and responsibilities.

Accountability to Local Communities

64. The CPP is accountable to communities for the progress it makes towards its community planning ambitions for the local area. Effective community participation requires the CPP to demonstrate clearly ways in which it has improved local peoples' lives. Section 14(4) makes it clear that each community planning partner must provide such information about local outcomes as the partnership request which includes contributions to the published annual report.

65. Sections 8 and 12 of the 2015 Act require the CPP to publish annual reports which, respectively, describe progress made towards ambitions in their LOIP and locality plans. The annual progress report on the LOIP should also include an assessment of how the CPP has participated with community bodies during the reporting year and how effective that has been in enabling community bodies to shape and influence community planning (s.8(2)(b) refers). CPPs should publish these progress reports within 6 months following the end of the reporting year, providing partners and communities with an assessment of progress that is accurate and current is crucial to secure on-going effective participation. CPPs should ensure these reports are accessible to local communities and straight forward to understand.

Formal Lines of Accountability

66. As well as accountability to each other within the CPP, community planning partners are subject to other formal lines of accountability. These include to their own organisation's board, Scottish Ministers, the Scottish Police Authority (in the case of Police Scotland), the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Board, or to the communities that elected them (in the case of local authorities).

67. Those who hold public bodies to account, principally elected members and Scottish Government, should test partners on how they are working effectively in partnership and especially through CPPs to improve outcomes and reduce inequalities as part of how they do so. By the same token, organisations' boards, Scottish Ministers, elected Councils, the Scottish Police Authority and Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Board should hold partners to account on these issues within the context of their regional or national remit and responsibilities. The CPP itself should make clear how it is using collective resources to improve local outcomes and reduce inequalities on its priority themes, as part of how it reports to its local communities.

Specific Statutory Duties to Facilitate Community Planning

68. Section 13 of the Act places a duty on certain community planning partners (the local authority, NHS board, enterprise body, Police Scotland and SFRS) to facilitate community planning. It is for these partners to agree for themselves how this is done. Even where it is agreed that most facilitation functions fall on one partner (as, for instance, local authorities have historically tended to lead this role), responsibility for ensuring the CPP is properly managed and supported falls upon all of the partners listed in section 13.

69. Coordinating and managing partnership working can be complex, given the range of leadership boards, locality or thematic groups, national reform activity and other forums in any given area which either fall within the CPP or affect its work. Shared leadership is needed to ensure collective ownership of effective community planning and to provide strategic direction for activities.

70. The partners with facilitation duties should decide which local partnership working arrangements are most appropriate for their area. In some cases, for instance, a CPP may choose to delegate and channel its business, including planning, investment and review, to area committees. In all cases, the partners should ensure these arrangements are streamlined as far as possible and aligned with their local improvement priorities.

Understanding of local communities' needs, circumstances and opportunities

Summary of Expectations

  • The CPP has a strong understanding of its local areas, including differing needs, circumstances and opportunities for communities (geographical and communities of interest) within its area.
  • This understanding is built on appropriate data and evidence from partners and community perspectives flowing from effective community engagement.

Introduction

71. For a CPP to focus its energies on local priorities and understanding the impact of its interventions on local communities, it must have a clear and evidence-based understanding of local needs, circumstances and opportunities. This understanding should capture both the area overall and differing needs and circumstances of communities within its area. This includes both communities of place and communities of interest.

Developing this Understanding

72. The CPP should be effective in mobilising the knowledge and resources of all relevant local and national agencies to develop this clear understanding of local needs, circumstances and opportunities, underpinned wherever possible by robust and relevant evidence. This evidence may take the form of data and information from community planning partners. It could, for example, draw from work such as a strategic assessment or needs analysis with detailed evidence and data referenced or annexed where appropriate.

73. The CPP should consider a broad range of sources in identifying intelligence to inform its understanding. For example performance information held in Community Profiles being developed by the Improvement Service will allow the CPP to compare outcomes in its area with those elsewhere in Scotland.

74. Intelligence obtained for other purposes ( e.g. information held by equality groups pertaining to groups with protected characteristics, local NHS priorities, development planning) can also be relevant in a community planning context. Further, partners should be willing to share data and other intelligence which helps to build that local picture. Likewise partners should consider how understanding of needs, circumstances and opportunities obtained for community planning purposes can be used in other planning contexts ( e.g. health and social care integration, community justice and spatial planning).

75. Also important is evidence from communities themselves. The CPP must use engagement with communities (including the business and third sectors) to establish their perspectives; both of needs and opportunities within the area and how they differ for particular sections of the community. Strong and up-to-date evidence as a result of community engagement and participation is powerful in shaping decision making that improves outcomes and tackles inequalities. The refreshed National Standards for Community Engagement will set out best practice guidance for engagement and participation between communities and agencies delivering public services.

76. Whilst the CPP should consider how it can draw on most suitable evidence from the wealth and variety of information and data available, it should not use the absence of perfect data as a reason not to take action on an issue.

Applying this Understanding

77. The CPP should use its understanding for a number of purposes which flow from statutory duties under sections 4, 5, 6, 9 and 10 of the 2015 Act. In other words, the CPP's understanding should inform its vision and priorities for the local area and its approach to tackling inequalities within the area, including those neighbourhoods to be targeted for locality planning. The CPP should be capable of monitoring this understanding over time to drive and demonstrate continuous improvement as part of effective performance management.

78. As part of how they determine how outcomes vary across their area and to understand those localities in which communities experience poorest outcomes (and to comply with section 9(1) of the Act), CPPs should establish what they understand to be localities across their area. How CPPs frame these localities should reflect their understanding of local identity. They may define localities by a formal definition, such as an electoral ward, community council area or postcode district. Alternatively, they may draw locality boundaries based on other factors which influence people's sense of local identity, such as accessibility to schools and other local services, or travel to work areas. In all cases, CPPs should identify localities in accordance with criteria which Scottish Ministers set out in Regulations.

79. While this guidance focuses on how community planning partners within a CPP develop the understanding of local needs, circumstances and aspirations for the purposes of community planning, that same understanding can also be used to inform other plans, including development plans and local transport strategies.

Focus on key priorities

Summary of Expectations

  • The CPP uses its understanding of local needs, circumstances and opportunities to establish a clear and ambitious vision for its area and identify local priorities for improvement.
  • The CPP is clear about the improvement it wishes to make locally in terms of better outcomes for specific communities, reducing the gap in outcomes between the most and least deprived groups and improving long term sustainability of public service provision
  • The LOIP places a clear emphasis on identifying local priorities which focus on how the CPP will add most value as a partnership to improve outcomes and tackle inequalities, and the CPP targets activities around these priorities.

Applying this Principle

80. Community planning is not expected to be a place from where all public sector activity for a local area is co-ordinated and steered. Its focus should be on where the collective efforts of community planning partners and communities can add most value in improving local outcomes and tackling inequalities and where problems that need addressed are cross-cutting.

81. Community planning partners should consider where there may be scope to align their CPP planning activities with other existing planning cycles, structures and frameworks to facilitate a streamlined approach which best addresses local community needs, circumstances and opportunities to increase the efficient use of finite resources and reduce potential duplication.

82. Each CPP should translate its understanding of local needs, circumstances and opportunities to establish a clear and ambitious vision for what improvements in outcomes and reductions in inequalities it wants to ensure for its area. The CPP will then translate this vision into a LOIP which provides a clear and unambiguous expression of jointly prioritised outcomes and of what will be different for communities over short, medium and long terms as a result of partners' improvement actions. Section 6(1) and (2) of the 2015 Act sets out what must go in a LOIP. Framing this vision and ensuring its delivery should be an on-going focus for strong shared leadership by community planning partners.

83. In setting and implementing its vision, the CPP should focus partners' collective energy on where their efforts can add most value for their communities, with particular emphasis on tackling inequalities. This collective response should recognise that multiple and cumulative negative outcomes tend to befall the same communities; that the reasons for these negative outcomes can be complex and inter-linked, and that co-ordinated collective responses are therefore likely to be most successful in overcoming these.

84. A CPP is likely to find that it can make best impact by concentrating its ambitions and efforts on a small number of these complex and deep-rooted challenges, rather than a wide range of outcomes. In framing its ambition on this response, the CPP should consider what steps it can take which will support the long term sustainability of public service provision. In particular they should recognise the high costs which partners typically will already incur in providing the crisis services required to deal with the impact of negative outcomes, and which an effective response could moderate.

85. That collective response should also reflect, and wherever reasonably possible take advantage of, assets already available in local communities on which action can be built. These might, for instance, relate to physical assets (such as school or library buildings) that communities can use. Community cohesion, in forms such as civic identity and strong sense of mutual care and responsibility among fellow citizens - can in itself be a strong asset, and a valuable foundation for further interventions by public services or with communities themselves.

86. The CPP has both the power and responsibility to make choices as to where it prioritises its efforts. So, for instance, it need not feel compelled to act to ensure improvement or steady state against every outcome affecting local communities, provided it can justify why it is focusing its energies on other priorities. However, it must be transparent to local communities about the priorities it sets (which it will do through its LOIP and where it undertakes locality planning).

87. The CPP and community planning partners should consider opportunities to use the distinctive purposes and contributions of the LOIP and other plans, such as local development plans and local transport strategies, in order to provide an aligned and complementary approach to pursuing shared local priorities.

Focus on prevention

Summary of Expectations

  • The CPP and partners plan prevention and early intervention approaches as core activities which help people and communities to thrive and contribute to addressing poor outcomes and supporting long term sustainability of public service provision.
  • The CPP places strong emphasis on preventative measures to achieve ambitious long term improvement goals on the local outcomes it prioritises.
  • CPP partners provide resources required to support preventative measures to the scale required to fulfil these ambitions.
  • The CPP works with local communities and uses a close understanding of local needs, circumstances and opportunities to design services and focus resources to where it has greatest preventative benefit.

Introduction

88. Prevention encapsulates actions which prevent problems and ease future demand on services by intervening early. Evidence presented to the Christie Commission [3] estimated that around 40% of local public service spending in Scotland is focused on meeting 'failure demand', that is short-term spending that is the result of a failure to respond effectively to a need when it first arises. A preventative system is centred around, and is responsive to, what people value through every life stage. Those who design or deliver public services are always aiming to reduce or eliminate the need for future interventions and asking: " how can we act earlier?"

89. Effective preventative and early intervention approaches, which can moderate future demand for crisis intervention services, are therefore essential and integral to community planning: to improve outcomes for all; to reduce inequalities and ensure fair life chances for all, and to maintain the financial sustainability of local public services. They are particularly relevant to addressing local priorities agreed by the CPP to tackle outcome inequalities.

Applying this Principle

90. Preventative and early intervention approaches can take a number of forms. In a community planning context, these approaches are most likely to be targeted towards at risk groups (as opposed to universal prevention which is directed towards the whole population).

91. At its earliest stage (sometimes called primary or targeted prevention), the purpose of preventative action is to reverse a trend before a potentially negative outcome takes hold. Early intervention action (sometimes called secondary prevention) involves targeted action towards high risk individuals or households, to deal with emerging concerns before they trigger a crisis response. Both of these types of intervention are designed to reduce the likelihood of high risk individuals and households requiring the intervention of crisis services.

92. Preventative activity can also be directed towards pulling individuals, households and communities out of a crisis setting. So-called recovery-based prevention focuses on building the assets and strengths that already exist in people and communities, in order to help them achieve positive outcomes. Targeted employability support and re-integration of former offenders into the community are examples of recovery-based prevention activity.

Planning for Prevention

93. Effective preventative approaches start with a shared recognition by CPP partners about which individuals, households or communities experience particularly poor outcomes; together with the nature and cost of crisis intervention services for which they have responsibility, and an understanding of factors which can moderate demand for these. It is by directing action and aligning resources to moderate this demand that CPP partners can most effectively pursue prevention.

94. CPPs should recognise the role that communities can perform in primary prevention. Their input, based on their understanding of local needs, circumstances and opportunities, can help focus public sector resource to where it has greatest preventative benefit. Communities can also provide an important part of the response, through co-production of local preventative activity.

95. Strong shared leadership, including mutual trust, is a prerequisite for effective prevention. Partners should recognise the likely demands on public services and human lives without this intervention.

96. A decisive shift towards prevention and early intervention requires CPP partners to agree shared strategic ambitions, followed by clear and on-going commitment to implement these. This can be challenging to fulfil and maintain, not least to find resource ( e.g. budgets, staff, knowledge, buildings and community capacity), to direct towards prevention in the face of tightening resources and competing demands, including for crisis intervention services - when the returns from investment in prevention may take several years to become evident.

97. For example, preventative action which moderates future demand for one CPP partner's crisis intervention services may require investment by another partner. In these cases, strong collective leadership may be needed to drive the CPP's strategic ambitions, with mutual trust and honesty among partners to work through how investments in preventative activity should be resourced.

98. CPPs may choose to take forward preventative approaches by testing pilot projects and new models of service delivery. This can provide an effective way of taking forward prevention, provided there is commitment to testing the pilots, with further development of model and scaling up of effective projects.

Resourcing improvement

Summary of Expectations

  • The CPP and its partners understand how their collective resources are supporting shared local priorities, and whether together these are sufficient and the right resources to enable the CPP to meet its improvement targets.
  • Partners demonstrate strong shared leadership by working with other bodies to use collective resources in more effective and efficient ways to improve outcomes and reduce inequalities.
  • Partners deploy sufficient resource to meet agreed ambitions for the CPP's local priorities.
  • Partners align their collective resources in ways which support its local priorities effectively and efficiently.
  • The CPP and its partners keep under review whether partners' deployment of resources remains appropriate for meeting its ambitions, and take corrective action where necessary.

Introduction

99. Making the most effective use of public service resources to improve outcomes and tackle inequalities depends on more than how public sector bodies use their own resources. It requires bodies collectively to provide sufficient resource to meet agreed ambitious improvement targets for the themes they prioritise for improvement.

100. It also requires partners in the CPP to target collective resources effectively and efficiently towards these priorities, including by eliminating gaps and duplications in service cover. This is particularly true for helping those communities experiencing deep-rooted and multi-faceted inequalities of outcomes, towards whom numerous public sector bodies direct significant resource.

Applying this Principle

101. Strong shared leadership is important to effective and efficient resourcing. Each community planning partner should be clear about which communities experience poorer outcomes which is has responsibility for improving. It should also ensure it understands what factors contribute to these inequalities.

102. Each community planning partner should use this understanding to identify opportunities to work proactively with other partners to use collective resources in ways which deliver mutual benefits, by fulfilling their own business requirements in ways which deliver improved outcomes on shared local priorities for CPPs.

103. Shared leadership is also important in the CPP setting, so that partners collectively are clear and ambitious about how they resource expected improvements to their local priorities, and about getting the best returns from these investments.

104. Once a CPP has agreed its priorities for improving local outcomes and tackling inequalities, each of which has ambitious improvement targets, it needs to work through how to fulfil each of these ambitions, what resource is likely to be needed, how it should be deployed, and what form this resource should take. In this context, "resource" has a broad meaning, including people and physical assets as well as finances.

105. In most cases, this consideration is likely to start with the CPP understanding and keeping under review how its partners are contributing to each of its local priorities. As a minimum, the CPP should build up this understanding as a broad picture, by identifying what the most significant resource contributions from each partner are towards each of its ambitions.

106. The CPP should use this understanding to work through whether collective resources are being used as effectively and efficiently as possible to support its priorities, and whether the quantum and make-up of that resource remains likely to be appropriate for meeting the CPP's agreed ambitions.

107. Partners should also align their community participation activity to reduce potential resource wastage, reduce engagement fatigue amongst communities and provide a more efficient use of community as well as public partner resource. So, for instance, what is the scope for investing in preventative activity? Might alternative delivery models be more effective? Are there opportunities to invest in building community capacity and co-production?

108. The CPP needs to agree which partners provide these resources, including any redirection of resource from elsewhere if it considers this necessary to meet its agreed ambitions. Section 14(3) of the 2015 Act places a duty on community planning partners to contribute such resources as the CPP agrees in order to deliver its ambitions.

109. As a general expectation, partners should contribute resource for each priority in line with the extent to which their organisation has responsibility for improving outcomes covered by that priority. This should include investment in prevention wherever this is appropriate. These decisions may require strong shared leadership, when the returns from investment in prevention may take several years to become evident and which may be difficult to apportion to individual partner contributions.

110. Community planning partners should recognise the impact of actions by other organisations on future demand for services they provide. So a partner should be willing to invest in preventative activity by other partners in order to moderate future demand for its own crisis intervention services; and indeed should seek opportunities to pursue this.

111. The CPP should take appropriate steps to assure itself that the ambitions it has agreed can and will be met. It should use active and on-going performance management which tests progress towards its priority outcomes, to review whether partners' deployment of resources remains appropriate for meeting its ambitions. It should act on this review, agreeing changes to how partners allocate and use resources where necessary.

112. Where a community planning partner is unable or no longer able to meet collaboratively agreed resource delivery requirements whether as a result of changing external factors or circumstances out with its control ( e.g. flooding; major developments for the local economy) then it should explain the change and impact on their resource contribution to the partnership. The CPP can then decide whether any changes are required to how they take forward their agreed priority. This is in keeping with section 7(2) which imposes a duty on the CPP to keep the LOIP under review and where appropriate revise it.

Effective performance management

Summary of Expectations

  • The CPP has a deep-rooted commitment to continuous improvement.
  • The CPP has effective processes and skills to understand and scrutinise performance.
  • The CPP acts wherever appropriate to improve performance in light of this understanding and scrutiny.

Introduction

113. Continuous improvement in performance is as relevant and important for a partnership like a CPP as it is for an individual organisation. The Best Value duties to which statutory community planning partners are subject in how they conduct their business are equally relevant in the community planning context.

114. Effective performance management provides evidence about the current state of service provision, so that partners understand the needs and circumstances of the local area, monitors improvements made and supports the determination of whether existing priorities agreed by the CPP remain valid. Effective performance management should provide assurance on whether and how quickly outcomes are improving and stimulate corrective action where required to address underperformance. It should support a culture within which partners hold each other to account for their contribution to improving outcomes, and assist them to demonstrate how they are making a difference.

Applying this Principle

115. Effective performance management requires both the right cultures to operate across the CPP, in terms of a deep-rooted commitment to on-going improvement, and effective processes, skills and authority to understand performance and act appropriately on that understanding. Performance management should be embedded as an integral and on-going part of how community planning in an area works. It is therefore the responsibility of all community planning partners (and not just those partners with specific governance duties under section 13 of the 2015 Act).

116. As a matter of culture, each community planning partner is expected to demonstrate Best Value in how it fulfils its own organisational objectives. It should likewise deploy these expectations to a partnership setting in the CPP, so the partnership can establish and maintain a strong track record for delivering on its ambitions.

117. This requires strong shared leadership by senior managers, board members and political leaders to reinforce the importance of effective performance management as a fundamental aspect of how the CPP works to improve outcomes for and with local communities. Characteristics they should display include having a clear understanding of progress made; recognising achievements; driving efforts to improve performance; learning lessons from good and under-performance in shaping future actions, and taking steps to moderate risks to future performance.

118. The CPP needs to have in place arrangements which enable it to understand how it is performing and impact on local communities. The performance management frameworks which operate within a CPP should include a blend of performance evidence which improves understanding of the specific added value of the partnership, how the partnership is contributing to improving local outcomes and reducing inequalities and what the contribution of individual partners is to the locally agreed priorities.

119. Performance information should use a portfolio of evidence which combines data on local outcomes and service performance with experiences of local communities and service users. This includes how well local people feel they are involved in local decision making and how the CPP will identify improvements in specific communities that might be masked in data that covers the whole CPP area.

120. Relying solely on an annual progress report to describe actions undertaken to stimulate positive change and tackle inequalities may not be suited to all parts of the community. CPPs should as part of their duties to set out the extent to which participation with communities has been effective in enabling community bodies to contribute to community planning, understand how and whether their reports meet the requirements of their communities. CPPs should consider a suitable range of alternate means to describe what they have done and what difference it has made to peoples' lives.

121. CPPs should use performance and other information to review and report on their assessment of whether progress has been made in improving local outcomes in both their LOIP and in locality plans. It should also inform the assessment in their LOIP report of the extent to which their efforts to secure participation has been effective in enabling community bodies and communities to contribute throughout community planning. And it should drive and inform continuous improvement in community planning.

122. Each CPP will need to determine which performance data it should monitor, aligned to its own local priorities. As a result, the nature of data used for performance management and how they are used will vary from one CPP area to another, depending on where each focusing its efforts. Even so, nationally collected performance information should often be valuable to CPPs, supplemented by local evidence where appropriate. Each community planning partner should consider what information it holds which might be helpful to the CPP, and share that in line with the duty in section 14(4) of the Act.

123. Since the focus of community planning is to improve local outcomes, performance management frameworks should similarly have an emphasis on understanding progress in terms of outcomes. Even so, the CPP may consider it appropriate to supplement this with other information, including input and output data and qualitative evidence. This can be particularly useful to help CPPs understand on a close to real-time basis if they are likely to be on track to meet their medium to long-term outcome ambitions.

124. The CPP will need to be able to analyse performance information and use that understanding to inform follow-up actions. So each CPP should ensure its structure and operations provide the forums where there is both the expertise to interpret performance information and the authority to act on it. This might include taking mitigating action where necessary to address risks to ambitions, for example by redirecting additional resource to a priority outcome. It also includes understanding what is working well in terms of service redesign and interventions to achieve improvements in outcomes for its most disadvantaged communities, and where corrective steps may be required. And there should be both the authority and expectation that partners will challenge each other on their respective contributions to CPP priorities where necessary.


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