A new streamlined approach is set to improve the support offered to community groups as the Council outlines its plans to empower communities.

Councillors today approved proposals which will simplify the process for community organisations in accessing Council support by introducing a single point of contact for local groups.

The creation of this central resource will see requests from local people directed to the most relevant source of assistance in the first instance, making it easier to utilise support and achieve the shared aims of the organisations.

Communities will also be able to more easily access existing pathways of advice and guidance from council officers, as well as continuing to be supported with external and direct funding applications.

Local people will also be encouraged to utilise the Community Asset Transfer process and will be signposted to possible partnership opportunities with the Council, where appropriate.

The new approach will be piloted during 2018 in consultation with local organisations and is set to be supported by a £1.5million Community Empowerment Fund, announced as part of this year’s budget to run over the next five years.

Renfrewshire Council Leader, Iain Nicolson, said: “It is more important than ever that we work closely with local people and we’re working hard to strengthen the relationships we have with our local communities.

“We’re committed to creating an efficient pathway for local communities to access the support and guidance they need by simplifying the often complex Council processes.

“Creating a single point of contact for community groups will help iron these processes out and ensure that local people can access the support we offer as easily as possible.

“I would encourage communities throughout Renfrewshire to assess their local area, identify how they could make improvements and work alongside us to make a difference to their local community.”

The Council has been evaluating the way it interacts with local communities and identifying how they can be involved in decision making through a review of its Local Area Committee structure.

Nine proposals were brought forward to an extensive consultation process and addressed issues such as ensuring meetings are more accessible and participative, localising the award of grant funding and altering the current boundaries to bring them into line with community councils.

The results of this consultation will help refine the finalised proposals to ensure they fully reflect the needs and views of the local community and allow a more effective process to be maintained moving forward.

Further information on support for local communities, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/community


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