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

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


High quality public services which work together and with Scotland's communities are essential to support a fair and prosperous society. Building on this, the Scottish Government has undertaken a major programme of reform and improvement across our public services. Our approach continues to be informed by the findings of the Christie Commission on the Future Delivery of Public Services in 2011, giving us consistent and clear strategic direction built around the four pillars of reform: partnership; prevention; people; and performance.

It is an approach which demonstrates that we are focused on putting people and communities at the centre of public service delivery and policy making. In particular, it is designed to target the causes rather than the consequences of inequalities; and to make sure that our public services are sustainable in the face of significant constraints on public spending imposed by the UK Government in Westminster, and reflect the changing shape of our society.

Community planning is a key driver for public service reform at local level. It brings together local public services and the communities they serve. It provides a focus for joint working, driven by strong shared leadership, directed towards distinctive local circumstances. And this focused joint working provides powerful potential to address often deep-rooted causes of inequalities, and to use preventative approaches to manage future demands on crisis intervention services.

This statutory guidance provides a renewed vision for community planning, which builds on the provisions in the 2015 Act and the shared ambitions of COSLA and the Scottish Government. The guidance supersedes the Statement of Ambition which COSLA and the Scottish Government agreed in 2012; and also policy statements which the National Community Planning Group, Scottish Ministers and COSLA leaders have issued since then.

The expectations in this guidance are intended to be ambitious and to be challenging. They recognise that community planning partnerships ( CPPs) are undertaking an improvement journey. It is therefore important that CPPs understand how closely their own performance matches these expectations and have a clear understanding of the nature and extent of improvement support required to make these ambitions real. But this ambition is important if community planning, alongside health and social care integration and community justice is to make the most of its potential as a principal driver of public service reform locally across Scotland.


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