Consultation is a vital tool in the development of Community Action Plans, Local Place Plans and other strategies for shaping the future of a community.
Pittenweem Community Council in the East Neuk of Fife were awarded funding from Rural Communities Ideas into Action (RICIA) to help them get the most out of their community engagement activities, helping them to develop a Community Action Plan and a Local Place Plan that clearly articulates the community’s needs and aspirations and to develop a comprehensive plan which sets out how to get there.
The Community Action Plan will be used to guide community development, funding applications and investment over the next ten years, while the Local Place Plan will put forward land use proposals for consideration as part of Fife Council’s Local Development Plan. Local Place Plans are a new element in the Scottish planning system. Introduced by the Planning (Scotland) Act 2019, they form part of the Government’s wider work to improve community engagement and build public trust in planning matters.
Pittenweem Community Council want to undertake wider and more in-depth community consultation to follow up on issues identified in a recent survey. Responses to the initial survey from young people were limited and the Community Council identified a number of different ways to work with young people in Pittenweem, to find out their thoughts are about the area and what they'd like to see happen in future, as well as making sure they remain involved with these projects going forward. This will involve direct engagement with pupils at the local primary school, asking them to come up with ideas for how they would like to see their area improve.
The Community Council also took part in the Pittenweem Sustainability Festival in March, which gave them an opportunity to engage with the local community and to update them on the progress that has been made on the Community Action Plan and Local Place Plan.
There are also plans to use the funding from RICIA to give the Community Council specific support in the use of the Place Standard Tool with a Climate Lens, which was developed to help people understand how climate change might affect a local area and to support them to design their future place with climate in mind. It will also fund initial community events, including holding a Pittenweem 2032 visioning exercise to introduce the process to the wider community.
Pittenweem Community Council have also used Community Map Scotland to map plans for a multi-use path to cross their Community Council area. This valuable tool from the Improvement Service and Geoxphere has already helped in their public consultations and they expect to use it for more projects in the future.
David Stutchfield of Pittenweem Community Council said:
“The overall project will have a long-term impact on individuals and the community by giving everyone in the community the chance to have their say in the future of Pittenweem.
“This will be a comprehensive and collaborative process, from creating a shared overall vision to detailing specific short, medium and long-term actions for the decade ahead.
“We want to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to get involved in the future of the community - particularly voices that are seldom heard.”