What is Community Planning?

What is Community Planning

Community Planning is a process which helps public agencies to work together with the community to plan and deliver better services which make a real difference to people’s lives.

The aims of Community Planning in Scotland are:

  • Making sure people and communities are genuinely engaged in the decisions made on public services which affect them; allied to
  • A commitment from organisations to work together, not apart, in providing better public services.

Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act

The statutory framework for Community Planning is set out in the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015.  The Bill was passed by the Scottish Parliament on 17 June 2015 and received Royal Assent, becoming an Act, on 24 July 2015.

Under the 2015 Act, community planning is about how public bodies work together and with the local community to plan for, resource and provide or secure the provision of services which improve local outcomes in a local authority area, with a view to reducing inequalities. 

Community Plan and Neighbourhood Plans

The Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 introduced a number of requirements in relation to statutory plans for Community Planning.  The Act requires Community Planning Partnerships to prepare and publish two types of plan which describe its local priorities, what improvements it plans for its local communities and when it will make these improvements.

The first type of plan is called a Community Plan which covers the whole Community Planning Partnership area and sets out the local outcomes which the Partnership will prioritise for improvement. 

The second type of plan is called a Neighbourhood Plan.  The Act confirms that a neighbourhood must be either an electoral ward or an area within the local authority with a population which does not exceed 30,000.  Partners must identify smaller areas within the local authority which experience the poorest outcomes, and prepare and publish Neighbourhood Plans to improve outcomes for these communities.

The South Lanarkshire Partnership has developed its Community Plan 2022-2032 to create a shared vision to come together and deliver improved opportunities for everyone in our communities.  The Plan will inform Neighbourhood Plans which will tackle inequalities where they exist the most. 

Progress against the delivery of outcomes contained within the Community Plan will be monitored by all Partners.  The Act requires an annual report to be produced which demonstrates progress and highlights the Community Planning Partnership’s contribution to improving outcomes.

Participation Requests

The provisions of the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 relating to Participation Requests came into force on 1 April 2017.  This part of the Act enables community bodies to request to be involved in decisions and put forward their ideas on how services could be changed to improve outcomes for the community.

For more information visit Participation Requests.

Community Asset Transfers

Community Asset Transfers are an important part of the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015. 

Community groups can apply to South Lanarkshire Council for any land or buildings they feel they could make better use of and can request ownership, lease or other rights.  The council is committed to working with eligible organisations and recognise that the ownership or control of land and buildings is a powerful tool for communities to drive change and achieve their own goals.

For more information visit Community Asset Transfer.


Community Planning is delivered by local Community Planning Partnerships (CPPs).  There are 32 CPPs, one for each local authority area.  Responsibilities for facilitating Community Planning and ensure that the CPP functions effectively and efficiently are now shared by a number of CP partners; namely:-

  • NHS
  • Police Scotland
  • Scottish Fire and Rescue Service
  • Scottish Enterprise

The Act expands the number of public sector bodies that are subject to the duties in relation to Community Planning.  These include:-

  • The Health and Social Care Integration Joint Board
  • Regional Colleges
  • The Scottish Environmental Protection Agency
  • Scottish Natural Heritage
  • The Scottish Sports Council
  • The Skills Development Scotland Co. Limited
  • VisitScotland
  • Historic Environmental Scotland

      Further information on Community Planning is available through the Scottish Government website.  

You can also view our short Community Planning Partnership animation on our youtube channel for more details: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1C_jVsNCKw