Recent publicity from the Councils and the holding of various public meetings may have drawn your attention to the term Community Planning. This refers to a responsibility that the local councils have been given to facilitate the development and co-ordination of the delivery of the public services in their local area to improve the quality and efficiency of those services.
Hence Community Planning Partnerships have been established which include organisations such as PSNI, Fire Service, Libraries NI, Housing Executive, Public Health Agency, Health Trusts, Education Authority, SERC and others who have a statutory responsibility for the delivery of such services
The purpose of these Partnerships is to work with the community to produce a Community Plan that will provide the framework for collaborative working to deliver positive social, economic and environmental change within the council area. This includes setting long terms goals (or outcomes) to be achieved in the period 2017 -2030 with details of the actions that each of the partner organisations will take to support the achievement of those goals. The development and delivery of the community planning process is a shared task, which comes at a time when diminishing funding across the public sector requires collaboration to secure optimum effectiveness and efficiency when delivering services.
To date each of the Partnerships, led by the Councils have developed their plans around the themes of Health, Safety and Wellbeing, Economic Development & Regeneration, Education and the Environment. To help set the goals, considerable work has been done across the council areas to identify the priorities of the local populations, through a wide range of meetings and other consultation events.
Community planning is also going to be the local delivery mechanism for the Programme for Government and this provides a clearly defined role for SERC to work more closely with other partners and the community, to achieve positive outcomes for everyone involved.
SERC has contributed to the preparation of a Community Plan for each of Newry, Mourne and Down, Ards and North Down and Lisburn and Castlereagh Council areas.
The Community Plans are currently out for consultation and you can give your views on these by following links below.