[From: The Scottish Government]
New Chair for national community planning group
Mackay names Pat Watters as Chair of new national group
Former COSLA President Pat Watters is to chair a new national group which will oversee the ambitious development of community planning across Scotland - the process which brings together services provided by councils, the NHS, emergency services, and other public agencies.
The new national group will act as guardians of the overall Community Planning and Single Outcome Agreement (SOA) process, offering strategic leadership, and driving the process forward.
The national group will bring together all partners involved in the community planning process to help ensure that effective community planning is at the heart of Scotland's public service reform and oversee tasks such as the development of guidance and building skills and capacity to support improvement
Making the announcement at the Public Service Leaders Event today, Local Government Minister, Derek Mackay said:
"The Scottish Government and COSLA are agreed that we need a more joined-up approach to community planning and Single Outcome Agreements which brings together political and administrative leadership from across the public sector to focus our efforts on improving outcomes for the people of Scotland. The new national group will have a key role to play in delivering that.
"I am delighted to announce that Pat Watters has agreed to be the Chair of the national group. He has long experience of public service, not just as a councillor and former President of COSLA but as a member of the Christie Commission and most recently as co-Chair, along with myself and Councillor Rob Murray, of the Community Planning Review.
"That experience and his continued commitment to improving outcomes for Scotland's communities will be invaluable, and I look forward to working closely with him.
"The establishment of the national group will improve the effectiveness of community planning and SOAs. Success will be judged not in whether the processes work better but in whether they deliver better outcomes.
That is where the value of community planning has to lie and I believe that is what, working together, we all want to achieve."
Pat Watters said:
"I passionately believe in the power of effective community planning to deliver the very best results from public services. Scotland already has a strong record of joint working but the real challenge now is to grasp the opportunities we have to focus on driving forward effective community planning locally. That will require focus and effort and that is why I am delighted to have been asked to become the independent chair of the new national community planning group. We have a huge opportunity to achieve a genuinely new level of community planning, within a reforming public sector in Scotland, and I look forward to working with all parts of the public sector to make a real difference to Scotland's communities."
1. There are 32 community planning partnerships (CPPs) in Scotland which include a range of public bodies and representatives of the private and third sectors and community groups. The aim of community planning is to make sure that people and communities are genuinely engaged in decisions about public services which affect them, and to ensure that organisations work together, not apart, to provide better public services.
2. CPPs will not be formally accountable to the new national group, nor would these arrangements restrict the focus on localities which is properly delivered through CPPs. However, such arrangements are intended to help focus the efforts of relevant partners consistently and over time in relation to agreed national priorities such as early years; health inequalities; youth unemployment; economic growth and stronger and safer communities.
3. The membership of the new group has yet to be decided but it will draw together the range of community planning partners required to give leadership to the agenda, including politically elected and politically appointed members.
4. An early priority for the national group will be the reshaping of Single Outcome Agreements.
5. To achieve this, new guidance on SOAs will be developed and issued, building on messages in existing guidance. Production of that guidance is expected to be an early focus for the new national group, to enable new SOAs to be in place for April 2013.