The ‘Local Matter’ 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.

 

Fife Council- Fife Fostering Recruitment Campaign
The ˜Could you Foster for Fife’ campaign recruits foster carers to care for Fifes most vulnerable children. Fife Council began its Foster Carer recruitment campaign in 2014 to address the shortage of Fife Council Foster Carers. The shortage has meant that children and young people have to be placed with independent agencies at a cost of £50,000 per agency placement as opposed to a placement with a Fife Council Foster Carer costing £25,000. To use resources efficiently the Council is aiming to reduce the number of children placed with agencies as part of its strategic plan.
The campaign was refreshed in 2015 under the title ‘Could you help a child to grow’ using the theme of ‘growing and nurturing’. A partnership with the Councils parks and Countryside service was set up resulting in a new concept where two mobile garden allotments were built. In the first year their function has been to promote Foster carer recruitment and thereafter they will be used by the Parks and Countryside Service for educational purposes and providing access to gardening for disabled people.
The mobile garden allotments are made from recycled skips. One is fully DDA (Disability Discrimination Act) compliant and also self-watering gathering and storing water from its roof and pumping it to the plants using power from a solar panel on its roof. The cost has been shared by the two services for their mutual benefit.

Download the application: Fife Fostering Recruitment Campaign
The Highland Council – School Closures:- Informing Communities
Public administration, education and health is the largest employment sector in Scotland. The Highland Council area has a larger than national average percentage of households employed in these sectors. Schools are key components of all communities and when schools have to close due to unforeseen circumstances such as poor weather; this can have significant impact on the communities that the school serves.  This project produced a method for successfully and consistently delivering real time information relating to school closures to communities regardless of size or location including staff, pupils, parents, catering and transport suppliers, media outlets and elected members.  A one call number was implemented for head teachers to report a closure and this was integrated with systems such as telephony, web content and customer relationship management (CRM). The result has been significant, communities are able to react in a timely manner and ongoing savings in resources in response to a school closure has been identified. Further there has been positive exposure of the Council in social media and digital

Download the application: School Closures
North Lanarkshire Council – Empty Home Purchase Scheme
The Council is aware of an increase in the number of vacant private properties which are often in serious disrepair and also of an increase in owners of former Council properties enquiring if the Council would buy their property back.  The Empty Home Purchase Scheme has been developed to help address some of the issues faced by owners and communities in relation to empty properties.  This includes bringing properties that cause blight to neighbourhoods back into use and helping to increase the supply of affordable Council housing in high demand areas.  The project aims to contribute to the improvement of town centres and communities by bringing empty homes back into use as well as providing a cost effective way of increasing council stock in high demand areas and bettering sustainability across North Lanarkshire.

Download the application: Empty Homes Scheme
West Dunbartonshire Council – Proud2bWD Engaging customers through social media
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: Engaging customers through social media
West Lothian Council – Citizen Led Inspection
The Citizen Led Inspection (CLI) programme offers local people the opportunity to volunteer to inspect, analyse, review and ultimately improve West Lothian Council services on behalf of everyone living and working in the area. The CLI pilot collected the COSLA One to Watch award in 2012. Since then it has been developed further and achieved more than the expected outcomes. Over the last 3 years we have built a scheduled and inclusive programme of inspection that is helping engage our community and provide services with detailed customer feedback and a customer designed improvement plan. Through the programme we now have customers redesigning service processes and ensuring customer needs are being met, helping to make the customer journey through services smoother and more efficient. We have a ˜Register of Trained Inspectors and are continually working to build more capacity in our volunteers.

Download the application: Citizen Led Inspection
The City of Edinburgh Council – Dementia Friendly Edinburgh Community Initiative
The Dementia Friendly Edinburgh campaign raises awareness of issues faced by older people, including dementia and social isolation and aims to link older people into preventative low cost services before the need for more intensive and costly services arises. Older people themselves have been at the heart of developing this campaign, implemented with a minimal budget. So far more than 100 local organisations and businesses are on board supporting neighbourhood initiatives and 300 people have been signposted to the new Scottish government backed post diagnostic dementia support service.

Download the application: Dementia Friendly Edinburgh Community Initiative

 

The City of Edinburgh Council – YouthTalk
YouthTalk is a multi-agency approach established in Edinburgh’s Liberton/Gilmerton neighbourhood to tackle rising anti-social behaviour through positive engagement of young people. 1,500 views gathered from young people helped 40 local statutory and voluntary services to improve provision to meet expressed need, with young people central to the process, shaping consultation, and co-designing solutions. This has transformed how partners plan, design and deliver local services. Outcomes include 17% drop in youth crime, a Youth Cafe, a Life Skills course for school leavers, and annual YouthTalk Awards. Highlighted by HMIe as a European best practice model, the initiative is being replicated citywide.

Download the application: YouthTalk