Publication - FOI/EIR release

Communications with East Lothian Council in relation to community planning: FOI release

Published: 5 Nov 2018

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Published:
5 Nov 2018
Communications with East Lothian Council in relation to community planning: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/18/02907
Date received: 8 October 2018  
Date responded: 5 November 2018
 
Information requested

You asked for:

(a) all papers, memos, emails and notes of meetings over the period of the last two years between ELC [East Lothian Council] and the Scottish Government which specifically address the local authority’s responsibilities in relation to community aspirations and community planning; and 

(b) all in force agreements between the Scottish Government and the local authority  pertaining to community planning and community involvement within it, including single outcome agreements. 

Response
 

(a) all papers, memos, emails and notes of meetings over the period of the last two years between ELC and the Scottish Government which specifically address the local authority’s responsibilities in relation to community aspirations and community planning.

I enclose a copy of the information you requested. While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide some of the information you have requested because an exemption under section s.38(1)(b) (personal information) of FOISA applies to that information. The reasons why that exemption applies are explained below. Other redaction has been undertaken when the content of a particular part of a document falls outwith the scope of your request. See the cover page to Annex B for details of where this has been done and what the redacted text relates to.

(b) all in force agreements between the Scottish Government and the local authority pertaining to community planning and community involvement within it, including single outcome agreements. 

There are no ‘in-force’ agreements on community planning and community involvement between the Scottish Government and the local authority (East Lothian Council).

Community planning duties in Part 2 of the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 (“the Act”) came into force in December 2016[1]. The Act and guidance introduced specific duties for local authorities and other local public sector bodies to work together and with their communities in Community Planning Partnerships (CPPs), to improve outcomes on local priorities and report to local communities on progress. These duties include agreeing and delivering on Local Outcome Improvement Plans (LOIPs), and locality plans for smaller communities in their area which experience the poorest outcomes. LOIPs replace the previous Single Outcome Agreements (SOAs).  Unlike SOAs, LOIPs and locality plans are signed off by the CPP partners alone, and do not require the separate agreement of Scottish Ministers. 

Additional Information

Responsibility for local traffic management.

You may wish to note that, under the relevant legislation, it is local authorities which put in place the necessary arrangements for local traffic management in their own areas. As statutory responsibility rests with the relevant local authority, it is for East Lothian Council to consider and where necessary address any concerns. 

Community empowerment: Rights for community bodies

The Act also gives community bodies the right to be heard and provides a mechanism for them to seek dialogue with public service providers on their own terms, when they feel they can help to improve outcomes. This right to make a Participation Requests exists in addition to whatever arrangements for public engagement a public service provider has set up. 

Participation Requests are focused on extending and improving community participation in improving outcomes for their communities. They help people: start a dialogue, have their voice heard, contribute to the decision-making processes and contribute to service change or improvement. A public service authority (in this instance East Lothian Council), has 30 working days to assess such a request, and need not agree if there are reasonable grounds for refusal.  If the request is refused then the authority must also provide reasons for making that decision.

Requests can be made by groups that are compliant with the requirements of Part 3 of the Act.  Should Aberlady Conservation & Historical Society or Climate Friendly Aberlady wish to consider this option, you should establish whether either organisation qualifies as a community body for these purposes.

The Scottish Government have published statutory guidance for Participation Requests, and this can be accessed here: https://beta.gov.scot/policies/community-empowerment/participation-requests/

Reasons for not providing information

An exception applies.

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide some of  the information you have requested because an exemption under section 38(1)(b) of FOISA (personal information) applies to a small amount of the information requested because it is personal data of a third party, ie names, contact details of individuals, and disclosing it would contravene the data protection principles in Article 5(1) of the General Data Protection Regulation and in section 34(1) of the Data Protection Act 2018. This exemption is not subject to the ‘public interest test’, so we are not required to consider if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption.

Additional Information

Responsibility for local traffic management.

You may wish to note that, under the relevant legislation, it is local authorities which put in place the necessary arrangements for local traffic management in their own areas. As statutory responsibility rests with the relevant local authority, it is for East Lothian Council to consider and where necessary address any concerns. 

Community empowerment: Rights for community bodies.

The Act also gives community bodies the right to be heard and provides a mechanism for them to seek dialogue with public service providers on their own terms, when they feel they can help to improve outcomes. This right to make a Participation Requests exists in addition to whatever arrangements for public engagement a public service provider has set up. 

Participation Requests are focused on extending and improving community participation in improving outcomes for their communities. They help people: start a dialogue, have their voice heard, contribute to the decision-making processes and contribute to service change or improvement. A public service authority (in this instance East Lothian Council), has 30 working days to assess such a request, and need not agree if there are reasonable grounds for refusal. If the request is refused then the authority must also provide reasons for making that decision.

Requests can be made by groups that are compliant with the requirements of Part 3 of the Act.  Should Aberlady Conservation & Historical Society or Climate Friendly Aberlady wish to consider this option, you should establish whether either organisation qualifies as a community body for these purposes.

The Scottish Government have published statutory guidance for Participation Requests, and this can be accessed here: https://beta.gov.scot/policies/community-empowerment/participation-requests/

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses

Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit 
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

 
The Scottish Government 
St Andrew's House 
Regent Road 
Edinburgh 
EH1 3DG