Community Planning is the term used to describe the process where statutory bodies such as Fife Council and NHS Fife work together in partnership with the voluntary sector and local communities and other bodies to plan and deliver better services.
The 2003 Local Government in Scotland Act established a statutory basis for Community Planning in Scotland, placing a duty on local authorities to lead and facilitate Community Planning in their areas. The success of the Community Planning process depends on the commitment and participation of a wide range of public, voluntary, community and private sector bodies.
The idea behind Community Planning is that it should provide a framework for agencies to work in partnership to put together plans which are complementary, co-ordinated and community-oriented. These plans should ensure that the services that are delivered are effective, joined-up and shaped around individuals and communities.
The Fife Community Plan was first produced by the Fife Partnership in 2000 and the second revision in 2007. It currently covers the following outcome themes:
The Community Plan and Summary documents can be viewed on fifedirect.org.uk. Fife Partnership is due to deliver a new Community Plan in 2010, and extensive consultation is planned during 2009. Please the Fife Community Plan 2010 - Timescale (15KB pdf) for an outine timetable.
What is the Fife Partnership?
The Fife Partnership is the name given to the partnership that has lead responsibility for Community Planning in Fife, and this partnership directs action and monitors the progress towards achieving the Fife Community Plan. This partnership is currently comprised of:
How does the Fife Partnership operate?
The leaders (or their designates) of each of the above organisations meet on a regular basis as The Fife Partnership Board. The Fife Partnership Executive Group sits underneath the Board and is responsible for driving forward the delivery of the Community Plan and overseeing the work of the Lead Officers responsible for the above outcome themes, as well as the cross-cutting groups. The Outcome Theme leads are as follows:
In addition to the partnerships mentioned above, there are a number of cross-cutting partnerships, forums and theme groups that are responsible for a range of activities across the Community Planning themes. The effective working of these groups contributes to achieving the goals outlined in the Community Plan. All of these partnerships and groups continue to work together to achieve Fife's Community Planning objectives:
In 2008, the Scottish Government and CoSLA (Convention of Scottish Local Authorities) agreed a Concordat setting out the terms of a new relationship between the Scottish Government and Local Government.
As part of the new approach, a Single Outcome Agreement (SOA) has been agreed between each Council and the Scottish Government, based on 15 key national outcomes agreed in the Concordat. The national outcomes reflect the Scottish Government's National Performance Framework and established corporate and community plan commitments across Scotland's Councils and Community Planning Partnerships.
In 2008, Fife's first Single Outcome Agreement was submitted as a Fife Partnership SOA. Due to tight timescales, the SOA was complied mainly from existing partnership action plans (e.g. the Joint Health Improvement Plan, the Children's Services Plan, the Community Safety Action Plan etc) and scope for discussion and engagement with partners was limited. At the Fife Partnership meeting in June 2008, where the SOA was officially signed-off, it was agreed that there needed to be an ongoing process of refining the SOA and engaging partner organisations so that there is an ownership of the agreement across the Community Planning Partnership.
In November 2008, partners were invited to become involved in the process of revising the Single Outcome Agreement for 2009/10, including CVS Fife in its role of representing the interests of the Third Sector. Guidance issued from the Scottish Government indicates that the second round SOAs need to be ambitious documents with a real sense of vision for their areas. The level of detail which had been present in most of the first round SOAs (particularly in relation to indicators) was thought to be unnecessary; Community Planning Partnerships are advised to reflect higher-level outcomes and associated measures with an assumption that more detail on individual thematic areas is available in supporting plans such as the Joint Health Improvement Plan, the Children's Services Plan etc.
Fife's Single Outcome Agreement for 2009/10 is currently with the Scottish Government for comment, and may be subject to further revisions. The draft provided below has not been updated with partner feedback, e.g. CVS Fife requested changes to Outcome 11 around stronger communities, but although the text is not finalised, it gives a good idea of the direction of travel. At the Fife Partnership Board Meeting in March, once again it was agreed that the Single Outcome Agreement document will evolve and should not be viewed as fixed.
Draft Single Outcome Agreement (232KB PDF)
The Voluntary Sector is involved in Community Planning in Fife in two main complementary ways:
In addition to being a member of the Fife Partnership Board, CVS Fife has a place on the following strategic groupings:
CVS Fife's Strategic Involvement is informed at all times by our interaction with the wider voluntary sector, particularly via the voluntary sector networks and forums.
CVS Fife helps to facilitate the Fife Voluntary Sector Children's Forum and the Voluntary Sector Mental Health Forum. We also work with the Voluntary Sector Day Care Providers Forum and the Voluntary Sector Homelessness Forum.
This forum currently has 62 members from a range of voluntary sector children's and youth services organisations. The forum has its own Chair, and it also elects representatives to sit on the following bodies:
The forum meets four times per year, and is led by a Co-ordinating Group, which consists of those members playing a representative role. Members of the forum will play a key role in shaping the next Children's Services Plan for Fife.
The forum provides opportunities for voluntary sector organisations involved in mental health services to come together and share experience and information and to provide mutual support.
The forum nominates representatives to sit on the following groups:
For more information see the Mental Health Forum section.
This forum is made up of organisations providing day care to elderly people. For more information contact Carol Reddington, Fife Day Care Services.
This established forum brrings together a range of organisations operating in the homelessness/housing area. For more information contact Mary Hill, Glenrothes YMCA - YWCA.
This is a fairly small, focussed group of voluntary sector organisations with a direct role in delivering learning and training activity.
The Voluntary Sector Drug & Alcohol Managers Group is a well-established group with strong links to the Fife Drug and Alcohol Action Team. However, recently the group has expressed a desire to become more linked to the Voluntary Sector Health & Wellbeing Agenda.
For more information contact Laura Crombie, Chair, at the Clued Up Project.
Voluntary organisations also get involved directly with particular Community Planning initiatives that link to their core activities. On these occasions, their involvement is around representing the interests of their own organisation or service as opposed to the wider interest of the voluntary sector. Review events and consultation exercises that feed into the Community Planning process often call for direct involvement from voluntary organisations. Recent examples include:
The organisations that take up these direct involvement opportunities are often linked in to the Voluntary Sector networks, and are therefore able to wear their voluntary sector hats as well as representing the interests of their own organisations. CVS Fife continues to work with the Community Planning partners to ensure recognition of the Voluntary Sector Forums and Networks as the appropriate route to secure voluntary sector representation.
The In It Together Project was concerned with raising awareness of Community Planning within the Voluntary Sector whilst encouraging organisations to become involved in Community Planning processes. The overall aim of the project was to ensure that the voices, knowledge and skills that exist within the sector become part of the process when new plans for service delivery are made in Fife.
The Project came to a conclusion at the end of March 2006 with a review day to share the lessons that were learnt and celebrate the success that it experienced during its 20 months. A full report of the project and its findings are available for download: In It Together Final Report (600KB pdf).
For further information on Voluntary Sector involvement in Community Planning in Fife, please contact Bryan Poole, CVS Fife's Manager. For specific queries regarding the Voluntary Sector Forums & Networks, contact Lyndsay Macadam, Development / Capacity Building Officer.