New strategic priorities for East Ayrshire as Community Plan is reviewed

The Community Plan continues to be recognised as the sovereign planning document for the East Ayrshire area, providing the overarching strategic policy framework for the delivery of services by all partners.

Our vision is:  “East Ayrshire is a place with strong, safe and vibrant communities where everyone has a good quality of life and access to opportunities, choices and high quality services which are sustainable, accessible and meet people’s needs.”

There is a strong sense of community across East Ayrshire’s towns and villages, with a tradition of helping each other and themselves. The role of communities remains central to the achievement of this shared vision.

Over the last year, colleagues from across the East Ayrshire Community Planning Partnership participated in a review of the East Ayrshire Community Plan 2015-2030. This was the second three yearly review of the current Plan, which was undertaken within the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The recommendations from the review were considered and endorsed by the Community Planning Partnership Board at its meeting on 10 June, and also by elected members at a meeting of Full Council last month.

For each three year period of the Community Plan, members of East Ayrshire Council and the CPP Board identify shared strategic priorities. These priorities are chosen to represent key areas of activity for the partnership to progress, with the aim of having a demonstrable positive impact on local outcomes for local communities.

As part of the Community Plan review process, communities, partners and stakeholders were also asked about their priorities for the next three years.

With a clear focus on tackling poverty and inequality and supporting recovery and renewal in relation to COVID-19, the review identified two shared strategic priorities for 2021-24: the Ayrshire Growth Deal and the Caring for Ayrshire transformation programme, both of which have the potential to make a real difference in local communities.

Councillor Douglas Reid, Chair of East Ayrshire Community Planning Partnership Board welcomed the findings of the review. He said:

“The demands of this unprecedented public health crisis have demonstrated the fundamental importance of partnership working. In the face of the pandemic, our communities and statutory partners have come together at the most local level to deliver the support needed; new ways of working have evolved; and our relationships strengthened as a result.

“This Community Plan review has afforded us an opportunity to take stock of these changes; to reaffirm our shared commitment to partnership working; and to update our strategic planning framework to ensure that we continue to be well placed to meet the significant challenges ahead.

“Together the Ayrshire Growth Deal and Caring for Ayrshire Programme represent a significant level of investment and transformation in the region and by making these our priorities for the next three years, we can maximise their impact and benefit for local communities across East Ayrshire.”

The outcomes of the review are reflected in a Community Plan Review Supplement which articulates the current context, along with the challenges and opportunities that have emerged.

The Community Plan is underpinned by three thematic Delivery Plans which set out the actions that will be taken forward by partners. These Delivery Plans are developed for shorter, three yearly planning cycles, to ensure that these plans remain up-to-date and reflect current and emerging local needs.

The review of the Community Plan reaffirmed the focus of these Delivery Plans - Economy and Skills, Safer Communities, and Wellbeing. This work will continue to evolve in response to the future challenges ahead and the annual CPP and Council joint performance engagement event in September 2021 will provide a further opportunity to reflect on the emerging medium to longer term impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on local communities.