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Community Action Plan (CAP)

The community council is looking at developing a Community Action Plan (CAP) for our villages. The CAP will help us to identify community priorities and a five-year action plan for things to be taken forward. Future actions might be carried out by a wide range of groups and organisations. 

A small project group set up by the community council has met a couple of times to start things off, with a view to a more formal steering group being set up as soon as we can. (We initially aimed to do this around Easte time, but the COVID-19 situation has delayed that for now. We will pick things up again as soon as safe and practicable).

The current project group members include community council members Sylvia Bertram and Jackie Patience, along with community residents Helen Barton, Owen Smith & Helena MacDonald. Helen B has some work experience in this area and is currently co-ordinating the project group on a voluntary basis on behalf of the community council. 

A meeting was held with a key local groups and organisations at the end of February to 'test' the idea out and see if there was support to take things forward. We're pleased to report that initail feedback was very positive. (Click these links to see the introductory presentation and summary of the feedback from this meeting). 


With this initial support from key stakeholders we will now get a more formal steering group set up to take the planning activities forward. If you would like to be involved in any way, please get in touch. No previous experience is needed and whilst we need a few folk who can attend meetigs over the next few months for a steering group, there are lots of ways you can also be involved on an occasional basis too. Examples of the sort of help we will need include: 

- Being a steering group member, to work with others to plan activities, lead engagement activties, collect and analyse community feedback, produce reports, develop action plans, produce news updates and produce a final plan/s. 

- Be a community ambassador - to help as many members of the community as possible to take part in consultations and have their voice heard. This might include helping people to complete surveys, going along to other groups to provide information, running drop-in sessions etc. Anyone who likes spending time with others and who has good listening skills can be part of a wee team for this

- Be an occasional helper. From time to time we will need people with a variety skills, and would be very grateful for anyone able to share their time and expertise. If you have any of the following skills or others that you think might be sueful,do let us know.

- write newsletter articles / social media updates

- fundraising / grant applications

- organising events

- facilitation or enagagement skills

- anlysing data / producing reports 

- arists / photographers / graphic designers / musicians- to run creative activities / capture ideas / make our events more fun and our reports look great

- bakers, soup makers, sandwich makers, tea brewers, table setters, clearing uppers - we always need you!

You can tell us more aboout what you would like to do on the form here, or contact us here for more information. YOUNG PEOPLE or anyone else looking for skills for a college or job applications - this could be a great opportunity to help your comunity and get great experience back.

One of the early pieces of community consultation we are likely to be looking at is a community survey and local conversations with groups across the community. What and how that happens is still to be decided by the new steering group. Further details and updates will be posetd here when and as available.

Meanwhile you can find out more by scrolling down to our 'Frequently Asked Questions' (FAQ) section below the photo gallery on this page. If you have other questions you can also contact us here to find out more. 

 

What is a Community Action Plan? 

A Community Action Plan is based directly on community needs and ambitions. It provides a chance for everybody in the community to say what is important to them, and to decide together what needs to happen to make sure the communities are better places to live for eveyone. It involves the community deciding and leading on actions developed in the plan. 

How long does it take to produce? 

There is no set timeframe or deadlines, and it will depend a lot on how many people become involved to help out. Everything so far is being done by volunteer input - so the more we have, the more we can do. Experience from other areas suggests the whole process from begingig to have local consultation to rpoducing an agreed written plan can take several months. We think it will take us until around the end of this calendar year. We will review this as we go along and provide updates as and when we are able to. 

Will everybody get a say about what's important? 

Yes! 

We will make sure that everybody wh wants to is able to have a say about what they think is important for the future of our community. How this happens is yet to be decided, but we expect it to include the following: 

- Individual surveys (written or online)

- Focus group discussions with key groups (school pupils, parents, older people for example) and local organisations

- Drop-in sessions with local groups

- Individual conversations

- Newsletter / social media updates

- At least one big community event to provide feedback on surveys and start to discuss local priorities for action

- An event to discuss / launch the final results and action plan/s

How do we know all the actions decided will get done? 

The succes of any action plan will come later - from the action rather than the plan. Plans usually cover a period of years and things will change in that time. Some things that are in the plan might not be acheived, and other actions that were unplanned will come forward. Much will depend on resouces available, whether local people and groups take on responsibility for actions and stay involved. 

But to help keep track of what is being acheived (or isn't), the plan with include clear outcomes with allocated actions, reposibilities and timescales for carrying them out. The community council will hold regular meetings with others to monitor whether things are going to plan, and if not what can be done about it.  

What Happens Next

The first step will be to find out the priorities of people living in our commuities - by this we mean what people value, and what things they would like to change or happen over the next few years. 

To do this, a Steering Group will lead on engagement with eveyone who want to give their view. This will include surveys and community activieis and events when we are able to hold them. The Steering Group will first have to puit together an engagement plan, thinking about what questions need to be asked and how to do it. 

Some of the information we need will already exist, such as information on local services, facilities and statistical data on the profile of the community. This will be pulled together whilst the community research is being carried out. 

Once all this research has been done, the information that comes from it will be analysed to to pull out main trends and themes so that the community can work together to decide their main priorities and next steps.

How can I get involved?

We would like eveybody to have the chance be involved if they want to. A relatively small group will be needed to take forward the planning and organising. We will also need people to help on an occasional basis with surveys and engagement activities. And of course we ant as many people in the community as possible to take part in surveys and tell us what you think is important about our place. 

We are looking for steering group members, community ambasaors and occasional helpers. We want to involve all ages and sections of the community - those who have lived here for decades and those who are newly arrived. You can be involved as much or as little as you like. See the form here for further details and to let us know what you can do.

And if you don't want to be involved at all that is OK - you can still have your say in surveys and consultation events throughout the year.

Are there other examples we can look at? 

Yes, lots! Community plans have been developed in places all across Scotland. Some, like us, are just starting. Others are on their second or third version, and have been able to track progress from one to another. We have provided links below to a few that we have come across that we feel we can learn from - but there are lots of others to explore. All of them are a bit different, depending on what each community needs. Ours may be similar to one of these or completrely different - it will deped on who gets involved, the feedback we get and what our communities want. 

We hope these examples give you some food for thought - and maybe some ideas for the future.

Ballachulish 

Fort Augustus 

Strathard (Loch Lomond) 

Strathpeffer

Shetland 'Our Place' report

Applecoss Land Use Plan

Useful information on how to develop a community-led plan is also available in toolkits produced by Cairngorm National Park and by Argyll and Bute Council

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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