South Ayrshire Council has today (25 April 2013) agreed a draft Single Outcome Agreement (SOA) – a agreement between local Community Planning Partnerships and the Scottish Government on priorities for service delivery for the coming 10 years.
The draft will now be submitted to the Scottish Government for consideration, with further consultation and refinement to be agreed in the coming months.
The SOA builds on five key themes identified by the Council, presented for consultation at the annual community conference in late 2012. These were:
· Maximising the local economy, by working to make sure South Ayrshire has an enterprising and sustainable economy and that people in South Ayrshire are skilled, confident and successful in accessing employment.
· Supporting our children and families, making sure our children and young people in South Ayrshire have the best possible life chances and people in South Ayrshire enjoy the best possible health and inequalities are reduced.
· Caring for our older people by ensuring older people in South Ayrshire enjoy full and positive lives within their own communities.
· Strengthening our communities, making sure they are stronger and safer and engaged in the Council’s decision making processes
· Caring for our environment, allowing residents and visitors to enjoy South Ayrshire as a clean and attractive place to live, work and visit while delivering a sustainable low carbon future.
The themes were positively received and adopted by the Community Planning Partnership.
Subsequently, the Council set out to confirm the priorities and outcomes identified by the Council and CPP were consistent with the views of the public and communities through the ‘Your South Ayrshire’ campaign.
Leader of South Ayrshire Council, Councillor Bill McIntosh said: “Approving the draft SOA is a major milestone for the Council and is a direct reflection on how well our residents and local communities have supported and engaged with us in getting to this point.
“I’d like to thank every single person who came along, filled in a survey, took part in an engagement event or made their voice heard during the ‘Your South Ayrshire’ campaign.
“The messages that came back from people were clear: ‘Develop the economy, create jobs, improve town centres and boost leisure facilities’ and these expectations have been built directly into the SOA.”
A series of ward-based community events, leaflets, an online survey and a mobile consultation unit offered residents across South Ayrshire an opportunity for their voice to be heard.
In total, 668 people took part and one of the recurring themes was that the Council needed to match planning processes more closely with the SOA.
The Council Business Plan for 2013-16 will now be directly shaped by the SOA and presented to elected members in June 2013.
The SOA is subject to final comment from the Community Planning Partners and from the Scottish Government.
Councillor McIntosh concluded: “Most importantly, we will make sure the way we feed back and engage with the CPP, the community and our residents is clearer, more consistent and more accountable than ever before.
“We’ve listened closely to what people have said. Even though we face some challenging times ahead, I’m confident that the SOA and our linked business plan will let us lead from the front in meeting and delivering the excellent services our residents and communities have demanded.”
The 668 participants in the ‘Your South Ayrshire’ consultation was made up from: 289 responses through leaflets, 153 through the online survey, 120 by visiting the mobile unit, and 106 through attendance at local ward-based sessions.