Innovation Exchange

North Muirton Community Action Plan

Introduction

Key activities

Benefits and impacts

Learning

Further Information

In 2015, funding was released to the North Muirton Community Council, from the 1993 flood fund for improvements to the local environment.  This was seen as an opportunity for the community to respond and address the issues and assets they have in their community and improve the quality of the public realm and their life in their local neighbourhood.  North Muirton Community Council were asked to consult local residents and agree on priorities. The North Muirton Community Council were keen to engage and reach the wider community to gain their feedback.

 

A survey was created and feedback was achieved through various methods including door knocking, online survey, Facebook and partnership with Housing & Community Care.  The Community Council used their annual gala day as a way to share this information and gain further feedback and participation.  The project used a very clear community engagement process where the emphasis was on and underpinned by strong community participation and partnership.  Perth & Kinross Council’s Community Capacity Building Team worked in partnership with the Community Council to reach the wider community and harness the ideas of the local people, involving all stakeholders throughout the engagement process.

 

The community engagement process has resulted in local people deciding priorities and solutions for North Muirton thus feeling more empowered.  It has also achieved an outcome of bringing together the Community Council and local community groups to work together on improving the public areas including path improvements, grass-cutting and tree removal. They are also planning and developing a new play park and creating community activities for local people.

 

Theme: Community Planning and Empowerment

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The project used a very clear community engagement process where the emphasis was on and underpinned by, strong community participation and partnership. This process was undertaken in line with The National Standards of Engagement.  This process included the following:

 

  • The establishment of a Community Steering Group which brought together the key local groups/organisations/partners
  • A community survey to 1000 households in North Muirton (door to door)
  • A community survey posted to PKC tenants
  • A community survey accessed online
  • Stakeholder interviews with different organisations in the community including the local schools
  • Analysis of priorities and themes
  • Community open day event (North Muirton Gala Day)
  • A newsletter distribution  sharing feedback to the community
  • Creating a local action plan for services and the Community Council to implement and monitor, which addressed public realm issues identified by the community.

The project has had the following impact:

 

  • Understanding the assets and needs of the community
  • Built better communication between local people, community groups, which is resulting in joint planning and actions
  • Take a Pride in North Muirton is working closely with The North Muirton Community Council on solutions around the issues of greenspace and the landscape of the neighbourhood
  • Partners have a better understanding and insight into community views and ideas for future improvements
  • Local people are volunteering for local improvement initiatives

The process of community empowerment requires the following for sustainability:

 

  • Community Development recognises a community is complex and diverse and aims to harness local energy and ideas to solve local problems for the common good
  • Partnership working is built on trust and confidence and takes time to establish
  • Capacity Building increases individual and collective capacity within communities.  Capacity Building is key to ensuring the local people can participate in settings where traditionally there may have been an imbalance of power and information.

The combined processes of community engagement and empowerment emphasises the importance of participation and partnership. The aim was to help people actively participate in shaping services for the benefit of the wider community of North Muirton and improving the public realm which was highlighted as a concern by residents and the Community Council. The Scottish Government states that better community engagement and participation leads to the delivery of better outcomes for communities.  This meant the Community Council was a key partner for wider community participation and partnership as demonstrated below:

 

  • The findings from the survey created a local action plan
  • This local action plan became the focus for the Community Council to implement along with services
  • A steering group was formed to take forward the actions and met on a regular basis to work together on achieving local outcomes.  This steering group represented a wide reach of different partners
  • The Community Council shared the progress with the wider community at all stages via resident meetings, Facebook and their annual gala day as a way to encourage more residents to participate
  • The Community Council asked residents to plot additional bins and benches on a map of the area
  • The Community Council worked with Take a Pride in North Muirton to purchase a ride-on lawn mower and maintain the greenspaces
  • The Community Council engaged with the local schools for their views on the play park and community facilities
  • The Community Council engaged with Live Active Leisure about managing the local community centre

Contact details:

To find out more about this case study, please contact:

 

Sharon Doyle

Senior Community Capacity Building Worker

Perth and Kinross Council

01738 477676

Case study added to site: June 2016

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