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Community partnerships failing to reach potential

This news post is over 8 years old

Some progress over the last decade, but Community Planning Partnerships lack clarity and leadership says report

Community Planning Partnerships (CPPs) lack clarity, leadership and remain inconsistent in their approach in the way they deal with local issues, a report has found.

The document published by the Accounts Commission and the Auditor General for Scotland said that despite achieving much, CPPs have a lot of work to do before they realise their full potential.

CPPs were established in all 32 council areas over a decade ago to bring together councils, health boards, and a range of third sector groups and bodies to jointly plan and deliver better services for their communities - in many instances replacing Social Inclusion Partnerships.

States the report: “Many CPPs are still not clear about what they are expected to achieve and there is confusion over whether the focus on community planning should be more on local needs or delivering national priorities.

“The lack of a coherent national framework for assessing the performance and pace of improvement of CPPs means there is no overall picture of how individual CPPs are performing,” it adds.

CPPs now face a double squeeze - much more is expected of them at a time of much tighter public finances - Caroline Gardner

Douglas Sinclair, chairman of the Accounts Commission, said: "There has been encouraging progress over the last year but community planning is still a long way from achieving its full potential.

"The key to a successful partnership is building mutual trust. That's not easy when each partner organisation has its own priorities and structures.

"With strong leadership, partnerships can then agree clear priorities provide effective challenge, and deliver change on the ground."

In the defence of the schemes it was stated partners are now taking a more active part in sharing ownership of priorities, understanding what resources are available, and recognising the importance of prevention.

Caroline Gardner, auditor general for Scotland, said: "CPPs now face a double squeeze - much more is expected of them at a time of much tighter public finances. That means difficult choices for them, particularly over moving resources to longer term prevention when still meeting current demands.

"This makes it all the more important that they make effective use of information to identify local needs and target resources appropriately."



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