Joint Council and Community Planning Partnership Board reviews 2019/20 progress

Elected members and the Community Planning Partnership (CPP) Board joined together virtually for the sixth annual Joint Engagement Event which looked back at the collective performance of the Council and the CPP over the last year.

Not surprisingly, the focus was very much on COVID-19 and the fact that partnership working has been a key strength throughout the response to the pandemic. This partnership approach will be crucial as the renewal and recovery phase progresses over the next year, as will collaborating and working with the communities of East Ayrshire who have shown such resilience over the last six months.

Reflecting on performance during the previous year, some very positive results from partnership working were highlighted at the event, including:

  • New build socially rented housing increased from 226 to 552 homes completed, providing affordable homes for tenants across East Ayrshire
  • Employment rate in East Ayrshire increased from 66.7% to 72.1%
  • Youth unemployment decreased from 23.2% to 11.5%
  • Crimes of vandalism decreased by 19.9%
  • Reported incidents of anti-social behaviour declined by 10%
  • The number of older people living in their own home or community setting, rather than a care home, increased from 96.8% to 97.4%
  • In the last 6 months of life, over 89% of people were supported at home or in community settings rather than in hospital
  • Hospital stays for people with long-term conditions continue to fall
  • A number of initiatives have helped to decrease loneliness and social isolation for older people, including a telephone befriending service, a Home Buddy scheme and various community events
  • The rate of school exclusions surpassed the 2020 target of a 30% reduction
  • Participation by children and young people in extra-curricular activities outwith school increased by 27%
  • 91% of residents consider their town or village a good place to live
  • 21 Community Led Action Plans were published as of March 2020, and 55 Community Asset Transfers approved

Of the 100 performance measures reported, 68 had either shown improving progress or were maintaining progress, with the remaining 32 being targeted for further improvement.

Reflecting on the current COVID-19 situation, Provost Jim Todd, who chaired the event, said: “This joint event gave us all an opportunity to pause and reflect on the impact that the pandemic has had on our communities. We were able to consider together how best we can continue to work in partnership to meet the new challenges that lie ahead.

“We all have our own experiences of the pandemic and we have seen the amazing way in which our communities have pulled together and responded to it. Although it’s still early days in terms of understanding the longer term impact of what has happened, some very valuable data has already been gathered which will be used to inform future plans for our partnership in addition to the comments and feedback received at the event.”

There was a clear will among partners to build on the strong foundations of the excellent progress made up to March and on the community resilience demonstrated across East Ayrshire communities in recent months. The need to respond quickly to emerging opportunities to support recovery and renewal, such as those presented by the new Ayrshire Growth Deal, was also recognised.

These actions will now be taken forward as part of the Community Plan Review, which will be concluded by March 2021, setting out the framework for partnership working across East Ayrshire over the next three years, 2021-24.

Read the full report from the event.