Local partnerships called on to boost Scottish growth

3 Nov 11
Community Planning Partnerships need to improve their contribution to local economic growth, according to Audit Scotland.

By Richard Johnstone | 3 November 2011

Community Planning Partnerships need to improve their contribution to local economic growth, according to Audit Scotland.

In a report released today, the watchdog said that the local partnerships needed to ‘better align’ their economic development plans with information on what is needed in local economies. The quality of these strategies ‘could be improved’, the report added.

CPPs were established in 2003 for each of Scotland’s 32 council areas. They bring together the NHS, police, enterprise agencies and transport partnerships to plan and provide local services and co-operate on specific problems, such as drug and alcohol addiction, antisocial behaviour and poor skills and literacy.

In 2007, they were given a bigger part in Scotland’s economic development, including supporting business, creating jobs and boosting skills.

Audit Scotland said CPPs had ‘an important role’ in bringing together services that could boost local economies. But it warned that they risked duplicating approaches being deployed by national Scottish agencies.

The watchdog also said that little had been done ‘to address the inherent tensions between national and local priorities and national and local accountability arrangements’ for the bodies involved. Some organisations in CPPs are responsible to the Scottish Government, even though the partnerships are led by councils.

The report calls on ministers to clarify their expectations on what the CPPs can do to help achieve national economic outcomes.

Auditor general Bob Black said: ‘There needs to be shared responsibility for performance by all the partners involved in community planning. Previous Audit Scotland reports have highlighted that successful partnership working requires strong leadership and commitment from all partners. We have restated these principles in today’s report.’

Pat Watters, president of the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, said: ‘The report sets out a number of recommendations and we have already agreed with the Scottish Government that a review will be taken forward together through a joint working group.

‘We continue to believe that Community Planning Partnerships should be the driving force of public service reform, integrating and co-ordinating services in such a way that ensures localities get the maximum value from all public spending in an area.’


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