Community Action Lanarkshire Project Report

Achievements of Community Action Lanarkshire

Filed under News
Date posted: Monday, 03 May 2021

Purpose 

To inform LEADER and the RDT Board on the achievements of the Community Action Lanarkshire (CAL) project, lessons learned, conclusions and next steps.  

Location 

The application to the LEADER LAG explained that CAL would work in the following communities due to their need for support. NL: Shotts, Allanton, Harthill, Plains, Caldercruix, Upperton, Longriggend and Greengairs. SL: Leadhills, Crawford, Abington, Glespin, Douglas, Rigside, Crawfordjohn, Forth, Lesmahagow, Kirkfieldbank, Blackwood, 
Kirkmuirhill, Stonehouse, Sandford, Carstairs Junction, Tarbrax and Woolfords. 

Progress November 2019-September 2020  

This fourth and final report from Community Action Lanarkshire covers the period between November 2019 to September 2020. The project timeline submitted to LEADER on the application identified the following activities in this period:  

  1. Project applications and project delivery for areas which already have a plan  
  1. Prepare area plans where none existed and once plans are agreed start applications 
  1. Exit preparations - Ensure projects in progress have plans in place for their delivery post this programme and collate stats on success of programme 

Section 4 of this report provides a breakdown of activity compared to the LEADER targets in the LARCS system. If LAG members or the RDT Board have any questions or wish to find out more, please contact or keep in touch with CAL using the details at the end of the report. You can also follow us on facebook, twitter and sign up to our regular ongoing enews  by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  

  1. Project applications and project delivery for areas which already have a plan  

Initial community visits and reading of existing community-led action plans resulted in CAL support for the following projects and CAL has responded to every request for help from our target communities since. The notes below also include next steps / exit preparations for that particular project.  

  1. Loudon Pond (Rigside / Douglas Water) is a project identified in the Rigside Community Plan and the CAL Sustainable Travel Action Plans. CAL supported the group fund (via the South Lanarkshire Renewable Energy Fund), tender and complete work with a consultant to prepare a site management plan including access improvements, setting out volunteer work programmes and ways to build the group’s capacity. In addition, CAL working with other support agencies, has supported the group on their draft lease, exploring a route from Rigside to access the reserve, forming a new SCIO to limit the liability of group members, given advice on recruiting new board members and provided a draft funding strategy to implement the projects identified in the site management plan. 
  1. Make Your Way active travel maps, waymarking and events project 2019/20 in 9 rural communities (Lamington, Rigside, Douglas, Glespin, Abington, Crawford, Crawfordjohn, Leadhills, Elvanfoot): carried out walking events, school cycle training and produced local active travel maps responding to needs expressed in existing local action plans / Sustainable Travel Action Plans. Covid restrictions meant that consultants were on furlough, sign manufacturers closed and communication with landowners delayed. Since the project consultants have now restarted, the maps are printed and being distributed and final landowner / SLC negotiations are taking place to install way markers and map boards by the project consultants.  The local routes will be promoted as part of the current 2020-21 Make Your Way project, excepting Lamington, and infrastructure needs raised in the 2019/20 project in Douglas, Leadhills and Abington are being taken forward in this year’s Sustrans project. Funding secured for 2021/22 will see the covid delayed installation of way markers and sign boards in Rigside, Glespin and Crawford whilst other communities wishing to install their way markers have been given the information required to do so.  
  1. Cycle Shelters: Issues with landowner negotiations, community and contractor availability partly due to Covid also meant that the project to install 2 cycle shelters in Douglas and Abington Services, funded from Cycling Scotland, could not go ahead. The funding has been returned and the plans to install cycle shelters incorporated into the current Sustrans project on infrastructure in Douglas, Leadhills and Abington.  
  1. Douglas, Leadhills and Abington Sustrans Places for Everyone project 2020/21. Through the Sustainable Travel Action Plans, Make Your Way projects or existing community-led action plans, communities and CAL have identified three routes that are popular locally as potential active travel infrastructure solutions: Abington to Abington Services, Leadhills to Wanlockhead, and Douglas to National Cycle Network. Currently, however, these routes are only realistically suitable for vehicular traffic. The newly funded project will now undertake feasibility studies for each of these routes, which will seek to examine the new infrastructure options in greater detail. This will be followed by a period of engagement with the local communities, as well stakeholders and landowners in order to receive their input. Although the current funding is limited to one year, it is anticipated that this initial grant will lead to Community Action Lanarkshire securing a future funding award from Places For Everyone to create detailed designs and ultimately install the new infrastructure.https://www.communityactionlan.org/news-hub/item/funding-secured-for-missing-active-travel-links-in-rural-clydesdale 
  1. Energy efficiency project: Through community discussions, CAL identified a need for work to help people in older, hard to heat or off the gas grid homes in the rural area. We applied to the Climate Challenge Fund on behalf of local communities for a project to deliver action in this area but were not successful.  

2. Prepare area plans where none existed and once plans are agreed start applications 

Plans for areas where none existed

A total of 4 plans in South Lanarkshire (Lesmahagow, Sandford, Carstairs Junction, Kirkfieldbank) and 5 in North Lanarkshire (Plains, Greengairs, Caldercruix, Upperton, Harthill) have been completed. All plans for the rural area, existing ones and completed with CAL, are available at https://www.communityactionlan.org/get-involved/community-action-plans.  When approached, other communities did not wish to work on full community plans at that time (e.g. Stonehouse).  

Support and applications for areas with new plans: 

Following on from expressed interest in the community led action plans, CAL set up training with the Development Trust Association Scotland on the 5th December 2019 and 20th February 2020  in St Philips School, Plains and 30th January 2020 in Harthill Community Centre, with 27 attendees in total.  

Upperton heritage/signage project – North Lanarkshire Council and Muirhall Energy (£1000) have confirmed a total of £9983 towards the project awarded to Upperton Residents Committee. After necessary retendering, CAL and the community worked together to select a consultant. Covid has put the contract on hold but this is on track to restart and will be managed on an ongoing basis by Upperton Residents Committee with assistance, if required by CAL as part of the ongoing support from National Lottery Communities Fund (see Section 3).  https://www.communityactionlan.org/news-hub/item/a-sense-of-place-for-upperton 

Make Your Way Active travel 2020-21 project responds to interest in new or existing action plans or from local schools to work with communities in Carstairs Junction, Coalburn and Coulter to help create new active travel maps and wayfinding due to be launched next spring. Maps will include local facilities and recreation areas to encourage walking, cycling and wheeling around the communities, as well as providing information on bus stops and timetables, and links to the National Cycle Network. These projects will also highlight any particular physical infrastructure needs which local organisations can take forward in future years to overcome local barriers to active travel. https://www.communityactionlan.org/news-hub/item/active-travel-consultations-open-in-carstairs-junction-coalburn-and-coulter 

Lesmahagow Street Furniture: CAL has been supporting Lesmahagow Development Trust and Lesmahagow Community Council with costings and specifications for street furniture, one of the early actions coming out of the Lesmahagow Community led action plan. The community council told CAL that these will be taken up post covid restrictions. We also supported LDT staff to prepare and send out their first press release, celebrating their work providing young people in need with chrome books so they could study during lockdown.   

North Lanarkshire Rural Heritage project: Many of the North Lanarkshire community-led action plans raised heritage type activities, whether those were new paths, information, signage, activities for older and younger people or heritage gardens. With North Lanarkshire being a focus area for the National Lottery Heritage Fund, RDT has successfully applied for funding to help communities explore their local heritage, drive forward heritage projects and develop local community capacity in getting grants by managing a small local grants scheme.  

Upperton-Greengairs walking and cycling route was identified in their local community led action plan to make accessing all local services easier and safer. Upperton Residents Committee applied to Sustrans Places for Everyone to develop a link between Upperton and Greengairs, and have now engaged RDT to support them on an ongoing basis to deliver the project over 2020/21 and we hope, into the delivery stage to create improved infrastructure on the ground by 2024 at the latest.  

3. Exit preparations - Ensure projects in progress have plans in place for their delivery post this programme and collate stats on success of programme  

3a. Projects in progress: As noted under project delivery above, all the projects are either completed, due to complete very soon under existing contracts or have funding and support to ensure completion in this financial year.  

3b. Taking forward the community-led action plans: As mentioned in the previous CAL update, communities need consistent, on the ground and sometimes detailed support. The reason for CAL in the first place was the need for more capacity in communities. The process of developing a plan in these communities has brought together groups and individuals who have not worked together before.  

But it was early days and more work was going to be needed to consolidate the steering groups into anchor organisations in their communities to drive forward change in the future. Discussions with the National Lottery Community Fund and the local communities then supported a successful funding application to allow CAL staff to build on the work achieved to date in communities where there are no existing anchor organisations.  

This project runs from July 2020 to June 2023 to support community-led development and delivery of community wellbeing projects in rural areas across Lanarkshire. The project will include Caldercruix, Greengairs, Harthill, Plains and Upperton in North Lanarkshire and Carstairs Junction, Kirkfieldbank and Sandford in South Lanarkshire. The project will support these rural communities to develop, lead and deliver projects identified within their individual community led-action plans. The key deliverables will be one project delivered per community, the formation / strengthening / capacity building of one community anchor organisation able to lead change into the future and lots of volunteering. More information on the project can be found here: https://www.communityactionlan.org/news-hub/item/lottery-support-for-lanarkshire-s-rural-communities-to-drive-forward-local-action-plans 

3c. Other communities action plans:  

As Lesmahagow already has an established Development Trust, it was not included in the National Lottery Community Fund application. However, to assist the community move the Lesmahagow Action Plan forward, and now community councils can at least meet online, CAL led a joint session with the SLC Community Engagement team to help take things to the next stage.  

The existing Forth community action plan runs out this year and the Rigside & Douglas Water plan runs out in 2023. Both areas are still supported by the Coalfields Regeneration Trust CRT with a biannual or annual catch up. CRT are not based locally but can be contacted on https://www.coalfields-regen.org.uk/ and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  

3d. Project statistics (summary of CAL progress against LEADER LARCS targets)  

Activity 

CAL Target 

Record of intervention 

Groups supported or established to take projects forward 

25 

25 to September 2020 
Loudon Pond & Ponfee Glen Association 
Forth Development Trust, Kirkfieldbank Community Group, Upperton Residents Committee, Caldercruix Steering Group, Greengairs steering group, Harthill steering group, Sandford & Upper Avondale Community Council, Plains steering group, Lesmahagow steering group, Crawford Community Council, Carstairs Junction steering group (which includes the community council, Welcome All Hub, primary school, The Playbarn, Healthy Valleys)and Kirkfieldbank Steering Group and through Make Your Way / Sustrans active travel projects, these organisations are either driving or supporting: Douglas Community Council, Duneaton Community Council (Lamington Representative), Leadhills Parent Teacher Council, Douglasdale REAL Group, St Brides Centre and Crawfordjohn Development Group, Abington Key Links Steering Group, Leadhills and Wanlockhead Key Links Steering Group includes Wanlockhead Heritage Trail CIC, Wanlockhead and Leadhills Railway, Leadhills Community Company Ltd., Douglas Key Links Steering Group: includes Douglas Community Development Company and Douglas Community Council, Coalburn Make Your Way steering group.  

People trained or gaining new skills 

250 

294 to September 2020 - Forth Development Trust media training 2, Loudon Pond strimming 2, Kirkfieldbank Community Group orchard training 11, 17 community led action planning training, Stonehouse Park media training 1. Lesmahagow Steering group adapting and a tender brief, scoring tenders 11, CAL volunteer Brian Boyd – photography for pinterest and Instagram and film making 1. 86 children learned or developed their certified cycling skills and 158 received training, 100 people learned bike maintenance, Loudon Pond tender writing and scoring 2, Sandford tender scoring 6. 39 people trained since April 2018 on Strimming, Tree planting and protection, Path maintenance, Fitting bird/bat boxes, Grass cutting, Wall repair. 27 attending 2 sessions of DTAS training, Carstairs Junction tender scoring 3. 

Facilities or services created or improved 

10 

11 to September 2020 Kirkfieldbank Community Park group – orchard management. Upperton MUGA surrounds – advice and support on tree planting and creation of seating area. 9 villages with new active travel maps on site and on line.  

Projects supporting communities to manage/own assets/services 

3 to September 2020 Crawford community hub feasibility study. Kirkfieldbank Park management volunteer days. Loudon Pond association nature reserve management plan and volunteer programme. 

 

Activity 

CAL Target 

Record of intervention 

Initial studies or pilot projects supported 

15 

20 completed to September 2020, 3 in train. 9 Sustainable travel action plans completed. 1 Crawford Community Hub feasibility study. Community led action plans in 9 communities. 1 Loudon Pond site management plan. 3 active travel infrastructure options studies in train.  

Collaborative community projects 

9 to October 2020 - community led action plans – 5 in North Lan, 4 in South Lan completed.  

Community transport projects 

4 to September 2020, 4 in train. 1 sustainable travel action planning programme in 9 communities. 1 new website with booking system, marketing and real time app for rural transport. 2 cycling schools programmes. Active travel routes mapped on site and online in 9 communities. Active travel infrastructure plans in 4 communities ongoing.  

Community led capital investment projects undertaken 

10 

11 to September 2020, 6 in train. Advised on funding for Upperton Muga, supported development of community seating area at Upperton, Site and capital investment plan Loudon Pond. In train, delayed due to covid - 9 walking routes with online, paper and on site map boards, Upperton entrance feature. 

Projects within the most disadvantaged areas – defined as those in bottom 3rd SIMD percentile: Lesmahagow, Stonehouse, Kirkmuirhill, Forth, Rigside, Shotts, Eastfield / Harthill, Caldercruix, Plains and Longriggend (Upperton comes under Longriggend in the SIMD stats).  

9 to September 2020, 7 in train Community led action plans in Plains, Harthill, Lesmahagow, Upperton and Caldercruix. Loudon Pond in Rigside. Sustainable travel activities in Rigside. Volunteering in Stonehouse Park and Forth. In train - Upperton entrance feature and cycle route, Lesmahagow street furniture, 4 ongoing via Community Fund project in Upperton, Harthill, Caldercruix and Plains.  

Community groups receiving external financial support 

10 

13 to September 2020 Lesmahagow Community Council for community led action plan, Crawford Community Council for hub, Upperton Residents for MUGA, entrance project and Sustrans cycle route, Sandford and Upper Avondale Community Council for Community Led Action Plan, Loudon Pond group. The following communities are or have taken part in Make Your Way and are taking on either a driving role or a promotion and participation role: Duneaton Community Council, Leadhills Parent Teacher Council, Douglas Community Council, Douglasdale REAL Group, St Brides Centre, Crawfordjohn Development Group, Coalburn Make Your Way Steering Group, Abington Key Links Steering Group.  

 

Activity 

CAL Target 

Record of intervention 

Young people + those in disadvantaged groups involved in community based activities 

50 

1053 to September 2020. 150 Children in Rigside, Douglas, Abington, Crawford and Leadhills were involved in a local cycling programme as part of the Make Your Way project. 39 people from disadvantaged groups have volunteered on CAL initiated environmental volunteering projects. 82 children involved in Sandford and Upper Avondale Action Plan, 23 children in Lesmahagow, 146 children in Plains, 153 children in Caldercruix, 200 children in Harthill, 20 children in Greengairs, 5 children in Upperton, 194 young people’s votes in in Carstairs Junction and 40 in KFB all involved in community action planning.   

Projects in new LEADER areas 

8 to September 2020 Upperton Residents Committee for MUGA advise, seating improvements and entrance feature. Upperton, Plains, Caldercruix, Greengairs and Harthill community led action plans and DTAS training.  

Projects that address rural inequality 

2 to September 2020, 5 in train One key aspect of rural inequality is access to services and transport. The first Make Your Way project produced Sustainable Travel Action Plans in 9 villages in South Lanarkshire (Rigside, Douglas, Glespin, Lamington, Abington,  Crawford, Elvanfoot, Crawfordjohn, Leadhills), along with improved access to rural bus information. The second phase of this project mapped local routes in each village onsite and online. Ongoing active travel projects in Abington, Leadhills, Douglas, Upperton, Coulter, Coalburn and Carstairs Junction will help improve information, signage and infrastructure access to services.  

Jobs created 

4 FTE to September 2020. CAL Project  

Number and type of project promoters (broken down by NGOs, LAGs, Public bodies, SMEs, others) 

10 

41 groups to September 2020, that excludes schools we have worked with and the wide range of community groups we are engaging with in each community led action plan area.  

People participating in environment focused or heritage focused projects, events and initiatives 

20 

55 to September 2020 CAL initiated environmental volunteering initiatives in Loudon Pond, Kirkfieldbank, Crawford & Elvanfoot, Forth, on the national route 74 near Cairn Lodge, Stonehouse and Upperton. Volunteering was carried out with the support of Clydesdale Community Initiatives environmental volunteers working with the local communities. 

Local residents who have access to new or improved community - based services 

250 

413 to September 2020, more in train. At least 250 through the new community bus booking service and real time bus information app on www.ruraldevtrust.co.uk. Upperton seating area 163. 3,530 In train - South Lanarkshire rural villages for mapped local active travel routes: Abington 200, Crawford 350, Crawfordjohn Less than 80, Douglas 1600, Glespin 150, Lamington 80, Leadhills 300, Rigside (inc Douglas Water) 850.  

 

Activity  

CAL Target 

Record of intervention 

Collaborative projects that aim to create an inclusive support framework 

9 to September 2020, 1 in train – including CAL Project, the completed Community led action plans.  

Community awareness raising events 

25 

29 to September 2020 plus MYW events – Sustainable transport action plans in each of 9 communities plus a community wide Tea, Tracks and Trails day. 17 sessions to get community input to action plans and promote them. 2 DTAS training sessions plus Make Your Way 2019/ 20 events. 

Projects that support capacity building and/or leadership in communities 

10 to September 2020, 1 nearing completion - All aspects of CAL project, with lots of on the job capacity building and leadership within communities, 9 community action plans completed.  

First time volunteers 

20 

26 first time volunteers to September 2020 doing environmental volunteering initiated by CAL plus people new to volunteering in their local community through the action plan steering groups. 

Projects that benefit young people 

10 to September 2020, 3 in train – Cycling workshops in local schools and community events engaging 150 in schools and 93 at the community event. All 9 community action plans engaged children in the process. In train – 3 active travel projects that particularly benefit young people (Upperton, Leadhills and Abington).  

Knowledge Transfer actions delivered by projects 

10 

66 to September 2020 – 1 CAL website www.communityactionlan.org with community led action plans. 43 Press releases. 2 paper flyers. 6 Mailchimp enews campaigns. 1 Community led action planning training event for 17 local community reps. 1 Community visit to WATIF, NL Community Matters event x2. 2 Videos on CAL you tube channel. 1 Presentation on CAL work to VASLAN locality network. DTAS training x2, CAL presentation / stalls at NL tenants conference X2, 1 CAL stall at SLC community planning conference, 1 CAL stall and workshop facilitation at Rural Action Conference. 1 Team input into SLC Community Participation / Empowerment Strategy 

5. Financial report 

Total programme budget is £331,431.09 

Total programme spend to end of September is £331,431.09 

Covid delayed some projects so some staffing and project spend ran on until the end of September to make up for this.  

6. Reporting schedule 

This is the final report and an enews has been produced and distributed outlining key achievements and next steps.  

7. Grant acknowledgement and communication 

LEADER support for CAL is acknowledged on CAL press releases, videos, posters, website, social media, staff business cards and in person at events. CAL leaflets, newsletters and community led action plans all acknowledge LEADER, RDT and any other relevant funders. CAL press releases are uploaded to the CAL website and are sent to key partners / influencers including the Scottish Rural Network, Scottish Rural Action, LAG members, RDT Board and local councillors, and shared on social media. The majority of press releases are picked up and published. A total of 43 press releases have been issued over the course of the project, with the following since December 2019 (the last reporting period) as follows:  

Jan-20 

Tea, Tracks and Trails event 

15/01/2020 

Schools in rural Clydesdale encouraged to get on their bikes! 

Jan-20 

Community survey launches in Carstairs Junction 

Jan-20 

FREE ceilidh kicks off community-led action in Carstairs Junction 

23/01/2020 

Community events invite local people to walk, cycle and create local maps. 

Feb-20 

Get snapping to win in Carstairs Junction 

19/02/2020 

Active communities get mapping in Clydesdale 

09/03/2020 

The Future of Kirkfieldbank is in your hands - Your Community, Your Plan, Your Future 

12/03/2020 

Celebrating getting Clydesdale active! 

21/03/2020 

Community plan launches in Sandford and Upper Avondale 

23/03/2020 

Clydesdale schools ‘wheely’ happy with cycling project! 

06/04/2020 

Have your say from home via new Kirkfieldbank website launched for Community Action Plan 

Mar-20 

Virtual Spring Tea supports community action in Carstairs Junction 

Mar-20 

Spring tea celebrates community action in Carstairs Junction 

26/03/2020 

New online forum keeps Clydesdale communities active! 

May-20 

Lesmahagow Development Trust lends a hand during current crisis. 

9/7/2020 

Lottery support for Lanarkshire’s rural communities to drive forward local action plans 

16/7/2020 

Funding secured for missing active travel links in rural Clydesdale 

17/8/2020 

Emerging priorities for Kirkfieldbank Community Action Plan - have your say! 

22/7/2020 

Peddling new plan to create new cycles routes in Clydesdale 

2/9/2020 

Active travel consultations open in Carstairs Junction, Coalburn and Coulter 

12/9/2020 

Community action planned in Sandford and Upper Avondale 

8/10/2020 

Community Action Plan launches in Carstairs Junction 

20/10/2020 

Kirkfieldbank Community Action Plan Launch 

8. Discussion, reflections and conclusions  

Place-based approach / adequate resources: Community development is challenging over a large area with a large number of communities as by its nature you need to be embedded in those communities and get to know them to help in detail. Although we did respond to every request for support, we felt it was only through the action planning process in 9 communities that we could get the time to embed ourselves enough to build relationships, understand the communities and their aspirations. In terms of support for communities not included in ongoing CAL work, we have discussed this with the SLC and NLC community capacity building teams. Resources are tight but these teams will pick up what they can to cover the different remaining communities.  

Time limited project: Time limited funding and projects all have challenges in terms of delivery and staff churn and CAL was no exception, even adding in covid. Community development takes time and consistent support over a number of years to get results, particularly when capacity is low or where there are no or competing ‘anchor’ organisations. This was a challenge in the LEADER project as the work, structures and some of the communities were new to the team. However, we do feel that progress was made by focussing in on a smaller number of areas on community led action planning to bring people together who had never worked with each other before, to build a foundation for the future and also focussing on some key projects. However, following on from the purpose of bringing people together to create a plan, more work and time is needed to agree what happens next and how the groups will move forward with the new action plans. So we are delighted to have been awarded the ongoing funding from the National Lottery Communities Fund.  

Evaluation - LEADER targets vs community-development targets: Targets can certainly drive action BUT that sometimes limited the time we could spend with each community. For example, the North Lanarkshire plans were completed in a fairly rapid timescale by autumn 2019 but CAL staff then had to move on to deliver other community action plans or other projects in order to get progress on the targets. Communities were not knocking down our door with a long list of projects needing CAL support so we had to be proactive, reading all the existing community plans, assessing the funding opportunities and identifying community support to take forward some of their aspirations. In those cases RDT acted as a kind of umbrella organisation, identifying common needs across communities and leading on being the funding applicant and driver but with the support of a community steering group for the project. In future, funders should also take into account community development outcomes in their targets e.g. evaluating how communities feel their capacity has been built. For CAL, it is important to put in place an evaluation plan at the start of the project and check that out with the funder early on to ensure that the project evidence meets the funders criteria.  

Evolving structures on community planning in North and South Lanarkshire: During the life of the project, community planning structures were and are still evolving, making it unclear how aspirations outwith their control (e.g. on health, transport etc.) would be listened to and acted on by community planning partners. In addition it was sometimes difficult to get feedback on the local action plans from community planning partners, which may be due to not having the right contact, short timescales, lack of resources or scales of strategic planning, but this needs to be resolved. Community planning in both areas are heading in the right direction but more action is needed around consistent and long term resources for community development, particularly for the most deprived areas. Mechanisms must be put in place to ensure the rural voice is heard and acted on, picking up on previous community led action plans. Training / culture change on community empowerment is also needed, along with better communication about how to get involved in community planning at different levels.  

Importance of partnership working and getting the right people round the table at the start of a project or process. Our experiences in this project have driven home the importance of identifying and meeting with key stakeholders from the beginning, whether that is on a whole program level like CAL or a smaller scale project of routes in a rural area where landowners hold much influence. 

Conclusions 

  • All targets achieved 
  • 9 community led action plans done - good basis to build on for future action
  • CAL team and communities have more experience on community-led action planning and on project delivery, particularly on active travel. 
  • Community planning structures in both North and South Lanarkshire have been evolving during the life of this project and should continue to evolve to become more community-based where agencies listen to and act on existing community-led action plans.  It needs to be made simpler and clearer and communication opened up so that communities know how they can get involved with community planning. Staff, elected members and communities need training in community empowerment to speed up the change in culture and processes so there is a supportive, facilitative relationship with communities.  
  • Hearing and acting on rural needs - LEADER was set up to address rural disadvantage. Whilst urban communities may win more resources due to sheer higher numbers, it is very important that rural communities do not lose out and that rural voices are still heard, supported and acted on, particularly with LEADER now winding up.  
  • There is also still a strong need to support community development in all rural areas, and without adequate resources, community development staff will be spread too thin. For example, whilst some communities (CAL communities, Coalburn, Duneaton, Lesmahagow) have ongoing dedicated area focussed staff, other Lanarkshire LEADER communities with community action plans (e.g. Douglas, Rigside,  Glespin, Forth) do not have area focussed staff and there needs to be enough resources to support those communities too. Communities should have a named contact for community development in their area.  
  • CAL will continue to improve our processes to ensure greater engagement and partnership working right from the start of projects. 
  • The team, rural communities and RDT would like to thank Lanarkshire LEADER for the opportunity to work on this project and we look forward to building on it into the future with local communities. 

Contact details: 

Kirsten Robb, Project Manager, 1 Powell Street, Douglas Water, Lanark 

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Phone 01555 880551 / 07980564773 

Twitter @CommunityActLan, Facebook @CommunityActionLan, www.communityactionlan.org.uk 

 

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