Communities have a platform to ensure their opinion matters

LAPs give communties the chance to discuss and have an infleunce on issues such as planning applications

Representatives from organisations across North Lanarkshire met at Airdrie Town Hall on Monday to discuss priorities for communities in the area.

The event is part of a drive to encourage people to become more involved in the Local Area Partnership (LAP) process and demonstrates each organisation’s commitment to working with local people for the benefit of local people.

Among those in attendance were representatives of Police Scotland, NHS, Scottish Fire and Rescue, North Lanarkshire Council and Voluntary Action North Lanarkshire, along with members of the public.

Councillor Paul Kelly, depute leader of the council and vice-chairman of the North Lanarkshire Partnership board, said: “What is important is that local communities are supported to participate and get involved in shaping and delivering services that meet their needs and the LAPs are an important vehicle in enabling this.

“LAPs should and do provide an opportunity for local communities to come together with their local elected members and key public sector agencies to agree and share priorities and resources (not always financial, often assets, skills, experience) for the benefit of the wider community.”

Last year a review of Local Area Partnerships was undertaken resulting in improvement actions including:

Making meeting venues and times more accessible to local people

Reducing the number of reports for noting and allowing more community led discussions of relevance locally

Introducing the ‘Community Matters’ agenda item early on the agenda to ensure that discussion remains focussed on local priorities

Counllr Kelly added: “Moving forward there is need to better evidence that partnership locality plans are based on evidence of local need. No one knows more about local need that those living in, representing or working in local communities.

“Where there are barriers to participation, work to identify alternative approaches to ensure that those impacting on decisions (through the LAP, NLP Board or internally within organisations) are better equipped to understand challenges for some people living within our communities and find ways to improve opportunities for participation.”

Following agreement priorities will be progressed through the Local Area Teams.

The next meeting of Motherwell LAP will be in the Civic Centre on Monday, September 18, at 6.30pm, Northern Corridor LAp will meet in Gartcosh Community Centre on Tuesdau, September 19, at 6.30pm, Cumbernauld and Kilsyth LAP will meet in St Patrick’s Primary, Kilsyth, on Thursday, September 21, at 6pm and Bellshill LAP wil meet in Bellshill Academy on Tuesday, September 28, at 7pm.

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