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Audit Scotland - Stronger leadership needed for community planning in Falkirk

Falkirk Community Planning Partnership (CPP) needs to develop specific priorities and plans to convert its aspirations into improved outcomes for local people, says the Accounts Commission.

A report published today for the Commission and the Auditor General says stronger leadership and systematic improvements in several areas are required to fully achieve the benefits of community planning. These include setting clear priorities to target specific areas of concern, partners holding each other to account for their contributions to agreed outcomes, effective performance management and reporting arrangements, and engaging better with local people.

The report says there is strong culture of collaboration which has helped Falkirk respond quickly to local problems and secure funding for major initiatives. There has also been improvement over the last few years against some performance indicators.

Public sector bodies in Falkirk collectively spend around £1 billion a year on services. The CPP must provide strong leadership to ensure that partners' resources are aligned to local priorities and to help partners, in particular Falkirk Council and NHS Forth Valley, overcome barriers to joint resourcing.

Accounts Commission chair Douglas Sinclair said:

"There is strong culture of local collaboration in Falkirk which has helped it respond quickly and secure major funding. That is fine, but there is little evidence that improved outcomes have been directly due to the CPP. If Falkirk is to fully realise the benefits of community planning, the partnership needs to do a lot more.

"The Commission believes that the Partnership has a good understanding of how it can work better and where it needs to improve but this will require stronger leadership. Collectively it needs to show progress against the outcomes it wants to achieve for the people of Falkirk."

Full Report

For further information contact Chris Holme Tel: 0131 625 1653 cholme@audit-scotland.gov.uk Notes to editors

The Controller of Audit has prepared this report for the Accounts Commission for Scotland and the Auditor General for Scotland. All Audit Scotland reports published since 2000 are available at www.audit-scotland.gov.uk
The Accounts Commission is the public spending watchdog for local government. It holds councils and various joint boards and committees in Scotland to account and helps them improve. It operates impartially and independently of councils and of the Scottish Government, and meets and reports in public

The Auditor General appoints auditors to Scotland’s central government and NHS bodies; examines how public bodies spend public money; helps them to manage their finances to the highest standards; and checks whether they achieve value for money. The Auditor General is independent and is not subject to the control of the Scottish Government or the Scottish Parliament

Audit Scotland is a statutory body set up in April 2000, under the Public Finance and Accountability (Scotland) Act, 2000. It provides services to the Auditor General for Scotland and the Accounts Commission for Scotland. 

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