Local citizens and community organisations are being encouraged to participate in an engagement process which aims to result in the development of new Community Plans for each of the Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Northern Corridor areas.
The activity forms part of the local Community Planning Partnership (North Lanarkshire Partnership)’s wider vision to redesign Community Planning structures through the establishment of nine geographically-focussed Community Boards. This will include the formation of a Cumbernauld Community Board, Kilsyth Community Board and Northern Corridor Community Board.
The intention is for Community Boards to enhance and support community involvement by operating as democratic and accountable vehicles for local community-led decision-making. The plan for Community Boards is endorsed by key public, voluntary and private sector partners in North Lanarkshire, including North Lanarkshire Council, NHS Lanarkshire, Police Scotland, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and North Lanarkshire Voluntary Sector Partnership Group.
Prior to the formal implementation of each Community Board, Community Plans for nine locality areas are set to be produced. During October-November 2020, a selection of community organisations are being invited to take part in online stakeholder events to ascertain the priorities of local communities so that the Community Plans developed are relevant and impactful.
The stakeholder event for the Cumbernauld area has been scheduled for Thursday 29 October 2020 from 10.00am-12noon, the event for the Kilsyth area for Monday 2 November 2020 from 10.00am-12noon and the event for the Northern Corridor area for Wednesday 28 October 2020 from 10.00am-12noon.
North Lanarkshire Partnership has indicated that wider community engagement will be coordinated until mid-November 2020, with final Community Plans to be published in March 2021. Mary McNeil, Cornerstone House Centre’s Development Manager, commented:
“As a Community Anchor Organisation, Cornerstone House Centre is committed to supporting strong and connected communities across Greater Cumbernauld.
“Our vision is of flourishing communities, healthier and happier people and a thriving Cumbernauld. Community empowerment is one of the underpinning themes upon which this vision is based.
“Hence, we welcome the proposal to devise new Co8mmunity Plans for Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and the Northern Corridor, and are keen to ensure that local citizens have an opportunity to contribute to the content.
“To ensure that these Plans prioritise the issues most important to the people of Greater Cumbernauld, it is imperative that as many local people as possible link to the community engagement process which has been announced by North Lanarkshire Partnership.”
Community Boards will seek to improve all aspects of community life through considering and addressing local issues such as poverty, inequalities, health and wellbeing, public services and town centre regeneration. Focus areas will invariably be determined by specific locality priorities.
The framework will align with the principles of the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015, which aims to empower communities and increase the influence of ordinary citizens in community decision-making processes. As such, local people with an interest in community development and resilience will be central to Community Boards.
Cornerstone House Centre, as facilitator of Cumbernauld CAN (Community Anchor Network) and local participatory budgeting (PB) opportunities, is well-positioned to play an important role in connecting local people with the new Community Boards.
North Lanarkshire Partnership’s vision involves the nine Community Boards replacing the existing structure of seven Local Area Partnerships (latterly known as Community Matters), which is believed by some to be too driven by elected members and not effectively representative of wider communities.
If you would like to attend one of the planned online stakeholder events or find out more about how to contribute your views, please contact Gary Stark, Assistant Community Partnership Manager at North Lanarkshire Council, on 01236 639396 or email StarkGa@northlan.gov.uk.
Examples of different ways in which the people of Greater Cumbernauld can engage in Community Planning are highlighted below.
LOCAL COMMUNITY PLANNING: HOW TO PARTICIPATE
As indicated above, Community Boards will be a new structure of North Lanarkshire Partnership as of 2021. These will be public discussion and decision-making forums, with Community Boards to be established in Airdrie, Bellshill, Coatbridge, Cumbernauld, Kilsyth, Motherwell, Northern Corridor, Shotts and Wishaw.
Community Board meetings will offer the chance to raise views, take part in debates, ask questions and connect with key public sector figures. Through involvement, it is anticipated that citizens will be better informed about and more able to influence what’s being planned in their local area.
Voluntary Sector Locality Networks
Voluntary Sector Locality Networks provide opportunities for voluntary sector organisations, volunteers and partners of the voluntary sector in local areas to meet twice yearly to network and share key information There are currently six Voluntary Sector Locality Networks in North Lanarkshire; these are for the Airdrie area, Bellshill area, Coatbridge area, Cumbernauld and North area, Motherwell area and Wishaw and Shotts area.
Community Forums are voluntary sector organisations which meet regularly to bring together people with an interest in contributing to and influencing local issues. Historically, there are eight Community Forums in North Lanarkshire (Airdrie and Villages, Bellshill and District, Coatbridge, Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Villages, Northern Corridor, Motherwell and District and Wishaw, Murdostoun and Fortissat).
Youth Forums are designed to enable young people aged 12-25 to engage in Community Planning in their local area. There are six Youth Forums in North Lanarkshire (Airdrie, Bellshill, Coatbridge, Cumbernauld and Kilsyth, Motherwell and Wishaw and Shotts).
Community Learning and Development Partnerships
Local Community Learning and Development Partnerships bring together key organisations and people in communities involved in learning and development activity. There are six Community Learning and Development Partnerships in North Lanarkshire (Airdrie area, Bellshill area, Coatbridge area, Cumbernauld and North area, Motherwell area and Wishaw and Shotts area).
Partnership for Change
A collection of community organisations, Partnership for Change aims to support participation and engagement of service users and carers in the design and delivery of local health and social care services in North Lanarkshire.
Amongst others, the partnership involves charities such as Alzheimer Scotland, Cornerstone House Centre, Lanarkshire Association for Mental Health (LAMH), Lanarkshire Links and North Lanarkshire Carers Together.
Over 30 Community Councils operate in North Lanarkshire as the most local tier of elected representation, with the aim of improving local areas. In Greater Cumbernauld, there are Community Councils in Auchinloch, Banton and Kelvinhead, Carbrain and Hillcrest, Castlecary, Chryston, Condorrat, Craigmarloch, Dullatur, Kildrum, Kilsyth, Queenzieburn, Seafar and Ravenswood, Stepps and District, Cumbernauld Village and Westerwood.
Information about Community Councils is available through contacting North Lanarkshire Council’s Committee Services on 01698 302359.
Tenants and Residents’ Associations
Around 60 Tenants and Residents’ Groups exist in local areas of North Lanarkshire, giving people who live in the same area a collective voice on housing and neighbourhood issues. There are several Tenants and Residents Associations’ across Greater Cumbernauld.
North Lanarkshire Federation of Tenants and Residents’ Associations can be contacted on 01236 435844 or by emailing NLFederation@outlook.com.