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Community Planning

Community Planning refers to the process or mechanism whereby public agencies work together with communities in the planning and delivery of services. Communities in this sense can include geographic communities but also ‘communities of interest’ such as young people or people with disabilities.

The emphasis of Community Planning should be on engagement, involvement, decision-making and implementation. The process should focus on communication, making sure that people are involved in the decisions made by agencies about services such as:-

  • education provision
  • transport
  • childcare
  • employment initiatives
  • facilities for young people
  • health care

In Scotland, Community Planning comes under the Local Government in Scotland Act 2003. This legislation includes several measures aimed at supporting community input into the delivery of public services, not only to improve those services but also to make them more responsive to the communities that need and use them. 

Community Planning places a statutory remit for Local Authorities and public agencies to consult with communities, listen to them, involve them in identifying gaps, and to respond with service delivery that is ‘needs-led’.

The idea of ‘needs-led’ services is by no means a new one. By its very nature, the Third Sector has been doing this for many years – consulting and involving people, listening to their needs and responding with services that are not only tailored to those needs, but led by them. The unique relationship that community groups and charities have with their members and users creates a crucial role for the Third Sector within the Community Planning process.


Other Community Toolkit Topics to look at:

Further sources of information

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The Community Toolkit is owned and maintained by Skye and Lochalsh CVO Conditions of Use
Last Updated 31/08/2016 12:27