The ‘Local Matters’ category is about the unique role of Scotland’s local services in empowering communities to take control of their lives.  Local services can achieve those outcomes because they understand their communities, and because they are accountable to them.  All of the projects in this category are driven by local priorities, and are about giving local people themselves the tools and confidence to transform their lives, and put choice and accountability into their hands.

 

Argyll and Bute Council – Story of the Month……….Reaching out to Schools
Monthly since March 2015 Rothesay Library Staff have visited Bute’s three primary schools with a copy of a popular children’s book for every primary 1 child.   As the story is read each child has their own copy to follow.   The interaction and enthusiasm is infectious and to add to the fun each story comes with an activity sheet full of arts, crafts and challenges for the young readers to complete either at school or at home. Occasionally school classes are also invited to the library for a special “Story of the Month” event, when the library’s very good friend ‘Bookbug’ turns up to entertain his enthralled young audience.  This initiative has not only encouraged children to become library members, it has also created an excellent working relationship with our schools.

Download the application: Story of the Month

 

Argyll and Bute Council- Over Lochs & Islands, Digitally Engaging Customers & Communities
Faced with increasing customer demand for services, shrinking resources and the need to derive significant back office efficiencies, Argyll and Bute Council decided to wholly replace its telephony/face to face focused mosaic of obsolete technologies with a new cloud based, integrated, omni-channel customer engagement platform. The new digital solution and the imaginative, joined up processes and culture change behind it has helped keep our council (with its huge geographical challenges), more in touch with its people, communities and businesses, more accountable and available to them and has utterly transformed service efficiency and the customer engagement experience. It is also changing our customer service culture, empowering officers to be proactive instead of reactive, to be outward looking and consultative and to use the array of new tools to be analytical, improving and problem solving for the benefit of the council and its communities. Our radical digital approach is helping us transcend distance and geography to deliver better services, more aligned to the needs of our people and communities.

Download the application:   Engaging Customers & Communities

 

Dundee City Council- Lochee Community Hub
The Lochee Community Hub is a ‘one stop shop’ providing life enhancing and life changing services in the heart of one of the most deprived communities in Scotland. In just six months the Hub has already become a fixture in Lochee community life, is making a real difference to those people using its services and is addressing the priority issues that really matter to the people in the area. The partners engaged by the Hub team and the services it provides go right to the heart of inequality and include welfare rights, job club, health checks, mental health support, support for those using substances and support for children and families. The Hub is the perfect example of addressing local priorities in a way that suits local circumstances, engages local people and achieves better outcomes locally.

Download the application:  Lochee Hub

 

Dundee City Council- Dundee Partnership Refugee Planning Model
Facebook is the most powerful social media tool in the world with an estimated 30 million users in the United Kingdom. Our challenge was to create a strategy that capitalised on this fantastic opportunity to engage with our residents in a new and meaningful way, and one that could improve the reputation of the Council. To achieve this we transformed our approach from a largely one-way broadcast channel into a fully functioning customer service platform supported by constantly changing creative content. As a result, our Facebook page audience has grown by over 40% (4,140) in 20 months to become the fourth largest Council page in Scotland – ahead of Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Dundee. This is despite having one of the smaller populations. All of the changes were introduced at no cost to the Council using existing resources.

Download the application:  Syrian Refugees

 

South Ayrshire Council – FEVA (Freestyle Environmental Visual Audit)
Our FEVA (Freestyle Environmental Visual Audit) initiative is a great example of what can be achieved by developing creative solutions to address local priorities in conjunction with the local community. FEVA was set up primarily to tackle environmental issues in the Wallacetoun area of Ayr and was based on active engagement and partnership working between the local primary school, partner agencies and the wider community. The aim was to work with the pupils to identify the local issues which were important to them, and to support them to work with partners to find solutions. A detailed programme of activity was undertaken, which has delivered environmental improvements in the community, increased participation and engagement with families and the wider community, and established stronger partnership working. It’s a positive example of the Building Safer Communities Programme in action, contributing particularly to: increased pride in the local neighbourhood and participation in activities to improve the local area; increased awareness of the range of local services available and the identification of local assets; and increased engagement between young people and local service providers to influence local service delivery and make a difference.

Download the application:  FEVA

 

West Lothian Council – West Lothian Syrian Refugee Resettlement Project
The West Lothian Council (WLC) Syrian Refugee Team is set up to provide intensive resettlement support to Syrian Refugees under the Vulnerable Persons Relocation (VPR) scheme. Holistic joint up working with a host of other services and partners has been key to the delivery of the service and best meeting the needs of the individuals. Relationships have been formed with the wider community to successfully integrate individuals into the West Lothian community. The project has utilised resources within services to quickly establish a service to meet the needs of vulnerable refugees. Families have integrated into West Lothian, having their health needs met, settled into education, established employment and are improving the quality of their lives.

Download the application:  Resettlement Programme

 

West Lothian Council – The Transformation of Almondvale Park
The overall aim of this project was to regenerate an area of greenspace in the heart of Livingston. We sought to create an active, welcoming, accessible, wildlife-rich and quality outdoor community hub, to complement the civic and commercial centres of Livingston. We have achieved this through extensive community involvement, partnership working, landscape improvements and substantial external funding. The project is an excellent example of how robust planning, working ‘smart’, inventive engagement, a flexible approach and ‘thinking outside the box’ can lead to substantial investment with added value. Works in the park are only just complete, but the impact is clear: it’s already more welcoming and biodiverse; it’s busier, with more people travelling there, socialising, playing and exercising; and there are now regular community events.

Download the application:  Almondvale Park

 

North Ayrshire Council – Locality Partnerships
Driving innovation from community managed facilities, not council committee rooms – Locality Partnerships represent the biggest power-shift in North Ayrshire’s local democracy for generations. North Ayrshire Community Planning Partners embarked on a radical approach where our communities co-designed, co-produced and co-delivered North Ayrshire’s approach to Locality Planning, taking engagement and consultation beyond information sharing or market research to accepting responsibility for shaping the future. This deep involvement of communities in cocreation of the Locality Partnerships has resulted in the powerful combination of identifying local needs and understanding the importance of increasing equity by pro-actively targeting resources and activity.

Download the application:  Locality Partnerships