Route map for ‘transformative’ project to be outlined to Councillors

Published: Friday, 19th February 2021

Ambitious proposals for introducing new arrangements for joint working with communities are being put forward to a meeting of Scottish Borders Council next week

Place making proposals

The ‘place making’ proposals aim to build on the experience of joint working during the pandemic and will involve communities working with us to better identify and address local needs and priorities.

This follows-up on the agreement in December last year of outline plans for community engagement around future service delivery and the prioritisation of associated investment.

Councillor Scott Hamilton, Executive Member for Transformation and Service Improvement

“At the heart of this far-reaching project is a desire to work with our partners and communities to deliver better outcomes for all our residents and customers, and as such we will be looking for the widest possible public involvement when we move through the various phases, focused around our Area Partnerships and including the involvement of our community councils, local groups and agencies.

“The approach is about identifying local needs and priorities and making sure services are best placed to address these.  It includes looking at service design, best use of assets and digital solutions and will help the Council and partners, including within individual communities, to jointly identify further collaborative opportunities, investment priorities and realise our ambitions across all our towns, villages and rural communities.

“This place making approach absolutely recognises that there is no one-size-fits-all solution and that a range of local factors mean that each locality and community will be at a different starting point in this journey.

“I am particularly pleased that we have been able to secure the support of Scottish Futures Trust and its considerable expertise to help the further development of the proposal and the programme’s delivery.”

Councillor Shona Haslam, Leader

“The Coronavirus pandemic has hit the Scottish Borders hard just like the rest of the country. As a rural area we faced various challenges prior to that, and are facing a variety of challenges in the future too.

“It is therefore critical that we as a Council, and together with our partners and communities, move quickly to develop a sustainable approach to delivering improved outcomes for all when we shift into a sustained recovery phase as the impact of the pandemic eases.

“The place making approach will deliver more opportunities for community empowerment and participation, giving local people and local groups a real say in the future of our area and helping to make it a reality.

“It will also result in better and more efficient access to public services, through shared resources, joined up investment plans and more flexible and locally responsive service delivery.

“This project and the way in which it will build on and link to existing local and national work and programmes will be genuinely transformative for our area and I for one cannot wait to get involved with our local communities to drive it forward over the coming months.”