Community Planning is meant to get people involved in their own governance, find moving from passive consumers to empowered actors. By engaging people in public policy deliberations and public service delivery, cialis the hope is to increase productivity while reducing costs. The concept of ‘community engagement’ has been around for a long time in other guises, including ‘Parish Plans,’ ‘Urban Regeneration Projects’ and ‘Local Health Checks.’ In theory, ‘community planning’ puts local people in charge of discussing what is important to them. In the first instance, if people in a local area decide they would like to develop a community plan in their local area, they need to put together a steering group of local volunteers to kick start discussions. Stakeholders might include local people and Parish or Town Councillors who want to get involved in the decisions that affect their area or community. Public sector leaders can get involved as catalysts and facilitators of structured discussions in order to resolve public problems. When completed, the community plan sets out a vision of how people want their area to develop over the next five-ten year period. It also proposes actions to make it happen, including:
- things local people can do themselves – eg. setting up a new youth club
- things local people can do with support by others – eg. developing an affordable housing scheme
- things which require a change of higher-level policy or strategy – eg.introducing Neighbourhood Policing
After the community plan is finalised – which could take up to a year or more – progress on actions identified need to be reviewed regularly.
If Parish Councils are focussing on this approach to help local decision-making and guide allocation of precepts and local authorities are depending on input from the ‘community planning’ process to develop strategic plans and service delivery, it is vital for them to ensure that all local people have an equal opportunity to get involved and the loudest voices are not the only ones to be heard. Therefore, many more people in local communities need to gain access to information as well as the tools to get involved.