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.


East Renfrewshire Community Health and Care Partnership – Big Shout ER

The Big ShoutER was formed by 5 young volunteers who had a desire to make a real difference within their communities. The young people, now known as the Big ShoutERs, have, in most cases, overcome self esteem and confidence issues to be part of this project, With support from staff from East Renfrewshire Community Health and Care Partnership’s Health Improvement Team and staff from East Renfrewshire Council’s Young Person’s Services Team the young people have used an assets based approach to work with young people in East Renfrewshire (ER) to help them to understand their own health needs and to further consult with the local population of young people to find out what their ‘identified’ health needs were. They used the information gained from this process to inform future planning of youth health services in ER through ER’s Integrated Children’s Services Planning Groups. They further developed peer education resources based on the findings from the consultation to enhance the knowledge of the local young people on topics they identified, and to support them to make informed choices about their health. All five of the initial Big ShoutERs have secured either full time work or training and have been replaced by another 4 young people who are equally as enthusiastic about young people’s health issues. This project is seen as an example of good practice particularly within the youth health arena due to it demonstrating an effective model of youth involvement in the design and delivery of youth services in East Renfrewshire with the long term aim of improving young people’s health and wellbeing and tackling health inequalities.

Download the application: Big_Shout 


West Dunbartonshire Council – Using communications to support local communities

When residents identified dog fouling as a top community problem West Dunbartonshire Council responded with an inventive three-month campaign that gave local people the power to decide how we tackled the issue. Their feedback dictated which areas received additional patrols and publicity, identified new approaches to take, and where 20 new litter bins should be located to encourage disposal. Radical messages were used to make irresponsible owners feel embarrassed and uncomfortable, while controversial methods such as spray painting dog poo pink spread awareness and secured national broadcast and print coverage. Costing just £6,000 the project achieved high levels of public awareness and support, and increased satisfaction with the Council by 49%.

Download the application: Using_communications_to_support_local_communities


Perth & Kinross Council – The Loon Braes ‘Parkernship’

The Loon Braes ‘Parknership’ has been led and developed through community based engagement to improve an area within Davie Park, Rattray. Concerns about anti-social behaviour, cruelty to wildlife and the general decline of the area were identified by the local tenants’ and residents’ association and they worked with Council Officers to engage the wider community in Blairgowrie and Rattray to raise local interest in improving this area. As a result the community has developed an overarching 3 year Loon Braes Improvement Plan to achieve 6 high level improvement priorities, have become a constituted organisation and are funding improvements to the local park. However people involved in the project have noted one of the major success factors of the Loon Braes Parknership is the way it has brought local community organisations together to achieve common goals and increase the skills and confidence of people taking part.

Download the application: Loon_braes_parknership


Dumfries and Galloway Council – Improving the design and delivery of pupil transport in a rural area

Our team set out to improve School Transport Services across Dumfries and Galloway and the work has resulted in the development of a new way of designing and delivering an integrated service to pupils across our large rural authority. Our Council faced a considerable challenge when we were asked to find ways to significantly reduce school transport costs yet retain a safe and sustainable service to a large rural area serving 20,000 pupils and 119 schools.  The budget pressures – as well as operational challenges in meeting parental expectations, increased fuel costs and carbon targets – meant that we took a review of the whole service.  The outcomes from the review were adopted in full prior to the 2012/13 school year and have enabled a new way of working across our council This project has resulted in a series of service improvements to benefit children and families achieved savings of £470,000 per annum and Carbon reduction of c.131Tonnes per annum.

Further benefits have also been realised. In summary, our school transport review has • enabled equitable and transparent application of policy across the council area • improved communication to all service users and partners with a reduced level of complaints • improved information sharing across services and with contractors • delivered budget savings over and above those envisaged • contributed to the sustainability of rural service bus provision • reduced the carbon footprint associated with provision.

Download the application: School_transport_service


Aberdeen City Council – The Tullos Hill Community

Aberdeen City Council identified Tullos Hill as a new site for woodland planting.  The site was one of several chosen for the council’s Tree for Every Citizen project and as a Diamond Wood to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. The project was funded through the Scottish Rural Development Programme with thirty-five hectares of mixed woodland planted in 2012.  Tullos Hill was also a notorious location for wilful fire-raising, fly tipping, dumping stolen cars and other antisocial behaviour.  With significant investment and commitment from local groups to improve and enhance the new woodland site it was important the antisocial behaviour stopped and real sense of community ownership was developed.   This has been achieved through the work of the council’s Woodlands Community Ranger Service who developed a series of innovative partnerships and projects to serve the community and encourage greater use of the woodland.

Download the application:   Tullos_hill 


South Ayrshire Council/ North Ayrshire Community Council – Lochside Neighbourhood Group – Making A Difference in Our Neighbourhood

The Lochside Neighbourhood Group is a multi partnership regeneration forum with roots firmly planted in co-production, partnership working, creative thinking and bringing together a common vision for the improvement of Lochside and its community. The partnership has brought together a broad range of key stakeholders from the voluntary, public, private and faith sector and is made up of representatives from North Ayr Community Council, Lochside Community Association, Cowan Crescent Tenants & Residents Association, Friends of Braehead Primary School, Lochside Church, local businesses, Ayrshire Housing, NHS, Access To employment, Police Scotland, South Ayrshire Council and other partners who have been working together to make a difference in the Lochside area. The group have been working on a very broad range of projects and initiatives including a Keep Lochside Tidy campaign led by local children and their families; improving play areas where local residents led a campaign to develop a creative play space; community health & wellbeing programmes; and working together on parking and traffic issues in the area. The partnership is chaired by the Head of Community Care & Housing, South Ayrshire Council.

Download the application:  Lochside_neighbourhood_group


East Renfrewshire Council – Fantastic Friends Friday

Fantastic Friends Friday (FFF) is a unique community group made up of young people aged 18-25 who have additional support needs (ASN) in East Renfrewshire.

The young people had been attending an ASN youth group (Rulebreakers) run by the Council’s youth team, but started to feel they had out grown it. They wanted to take control and set up their own follow on group where they could do the types of activities that were important to them with people their own age.

The young people approached the Council’s Community Planning team on their own initiative and asked for support to create a new type of group: one ran by and for the young people themselves. In October 2012, Fantastic Friends Friday (FFF) was founded and has been going from strength to strength ever since.

With support from parents, carers and Council staff the young people have been developing the relevant skills to run the group themselves, ultimately with minimal support. Now the young people run their own committee consisting of 15 members, 5 of which carry out the duties of the committee. The Chair, Vice Chair, two secretaries and treasurer were elected by the young people themselves, as with any other community group.

The group get involved in lots of different activities which are great fun but at the same time are helping them to develop essential life skills. So far this has included pampering nights, learning how to make soup, and arranging nights out to a local restaurant. The young people are becoming effective and efficient in running the group and at the same time gaining the confidence and independence to excel as young adults. The success of the group is best summed up by one of its members: “It has helped me feel and act more like an adult. It also has encouraged me to learn new things I wouldn’t be able to before.”

Download the application:  Fantastic Friends