SCC CHAIR’S REPORT, for meeting of April 10, 2017

1.     EACC Meeting – On Thursday 23rd March, I attended the regular meeting of the Edinburgh Association of Community Councils. The main agenda item was a presentation on licensing by Stockbridge Community Councillor, Penny Richardson. I raised the matter of the Council providing a licensing online portal, akin to the planning portal. The response was that this was being considered – Penny is pushing for it through her involvement with the Licensing Forum – but it comes down to available resource.

 

The EACC’s response to the current Scottish Government planning consultation is available on their website.

 

There was passing mention that the Scottish Government would be reviewing the role of community councils this year and was likely to increase their statutory consultative powers.

 

The Council will ‘definitely’ be providing small noticeboards in bus shelters where community councils will be able to post minutes/notices, etc.

 

2.   Update on Locality Working in the South East – I attended this event on Thursday 30th March. The presentation by senior Locality Managers told us that Locality structures were operating well but still forming. The leadership team had been put in place over the past year. The Locality Improvement plan (LIP) would be published by October 1st after consideration by Neighbourhood Partnerships and the Council. The main means for feeding into the LIP is through the Neighbourhood Partnerships. The LIP already has several draft themes, the most significant of which for us is to ‘develop the built environment and civic spaces’. The LIP will focus on a number of priority areas, mostly areas of greater deprivation or environmental stress, the only one of which in our area is the Southside ‘Corridor’, which has been included because of a specific history of crime and antisocial behaviour.

 

The Neighbourhood Partnership model of consultation is being revisited as being only partially successful. Thought is being given to involving a wider range of community-based organisations, sports clubs, faith groups, residents’ associations, etc. There is also thought of moving to more flexible models of consultation based on specific small areas or topics rather than having fixed overarching structures of consultation. The Council will consult on these models over the next few months.

 

The subject of reviewing the role of community councils once again came up. There are 46 community councils across the city. Does this current structure work?

 

3.     Policing 2026 -Consultation Evening – I attended this event with Liz Logie on 3rd April. It was an opportunity to learn more about Police Scotland’s consultation on their ten year strategy, to match resources better to current and forecast circumstances.

The five themes of the proposed startegy are:

Š       prevention;

Š       protection;

Š       communities;

Š       knowledge, and

Š       innovation.

It was a very good session and the Police Scotland speaker was very open to answering all and any questions that came up, but I think the consultation itself is all rather ‘motherhood and apple pie’ and personally, I don’t feel we need to be prioritising a response. For us, the most significant strategic shift is back towards more of a community-based model of policing.

 

Tim

April 2017