The Sutherland Community Partnership , made up from various public authorities including Highland Council, and the wider Highland Community Planning Partnership, are required by the Community Empowerment act to produce a ‘Local Outcomes Improvement Plan’ for the whole Highland Region, along with ‘Locality Plans’ focusing on particular areas at a more local level, for areas experiencing particular disadvantage. Public authorities are then required by the Community Empowerment Act to take account of these plans in carrying out their functions, and to contribute appropriate resources to improve the priority outcomes within the plans.
The aim is to give local communities a greater voice in local decision-making. Unfortunately, due to the chosen measurements of local disadvantage being largely based on an urban context, Assynt is not to be given its own ‘Locality Plan’ within this process. However, people in Assynt are still encouraged to complete the wider Sutherland questionnaire, https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/sutherland_com_eng, to make their views count in the wider Sutherland context.
The Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust (who are creating the Locality Plans for other areas, have offered to help create a similar document for Assynt, which will be based on Assynt residents’ responses to the Sutherland survey, along with further consultation and workshops taking place in Assynt later this year.
This ‘Community Plan’ document to be created won’t be something public authorities are required to consider in their decision-making, but we hope it will still be a useful resource, summarising local views, issues, needs, and planned actions for Assynt. Assynt organisations can then use it to support their own actions, for example in demonstrating local opinions and needs when grant-seeking for local development projects.
We encourage Assynt residents to get involved in the consultation and workshops in Assynt later this year, and to complete the survey which will also contribute to the Assynt Community Plan.
overview of the wider Highland Outcome Improvement Plan, which is already completed