Community Council Development and Support Programme

Neighbourhood Partnership Session

In January and March 2014 two Induction sessions were held for new Community Council members. These sessions gave an overview of what was expected of members and provided basic information on the areas of activity Community Councillors are involved with.  Those present requested further sessions be organised which would provide time to discuss each area of activity in more depth.   Therefore as part of the Community Council Support and Development Programme, a series of sessions will be planned which will look specifically at the following areas:

  • Neighbourhood Partnerships
  • Community Engagement
  • Communications
  • Planning
  • Social Media
  • How the Council Works
  • Funding

You can find out further details about the sessions and how to register here.

The session on 18 March 2015 was the first of these and  provided information specifically on Neighbourhood Partnerships and how you, as a Community Councillor could contribute to and influence the work of your Neighbourhood Partnership.

As part of the session there was a presentation which gave an overview of Neighbourhood Partnerships and the role of the Community Council member on the Neighbourhood Partnership.

A handbook has been developed which gives further information on Local Community Planning in Edinburgh.

Each of the 12 Neighbourhood Partnerships produced a summary document about their specific Neighbourhood Partnership area - find information on your local Neighbourhood Partnership: City Centre, Craigentinny/Duddingston, Portobello and Craigmillar, Liberton/Gilmerton, South Central, South West, Pentlands, Western Edinburgh, Almond, Forth, Inverleith, Leith

Community Engagement Session

The second session held on 20 May 2015 looked at what Community Engagement means and how Community Councils can effectively communicate with the communities they represent, gather their views and keep them informed, using a variety of methods.

As part of the session there was a presentation which covered what community engagement is and why it is important.  

The session looked at how communities can change and how Community Councils can get to know their local communities. A presentation and handout provided further information on this subject.

Introduction to Planning

The third session of the programme, an Introduction to Planning took place on 14 October 2015. The session was targeted on community councillors new to the planning process and is a repeat of a session held in 2014. It covered a variety of topics including The Development Plan, Planning Enforcement, How Planners Make Decisions and Major Applications.

Communications Session

The fourth session of the programme was on Communications and took place on 22 October 2015. The aim of the session was to give an understanding of local media in Edinburgh and how to generate media interest, as well as how to define and reach local audiences.

The session included a presentation about how to get the most out of your communications.

Materials included tools and tips and a list of community newspapers.

In terms of defining local audiences the Communications Service had generated a Mosaic group summary for each community council across Edinburgh.

As part of the session two group exercises took place. These generated good discussion and a number of suggestions which can be viewed here.

Community planning and spatial planning - how do they link and what do you think?

The second of the Planning sessions took place on 5 November 2015. It looked at The overall objective was to increase understanding of the links between Spatial Planning and Community Planning.

It looked at what both are and the Scottish Government's desire to see closer working between the two. There were workshops and discussions about the links between the two in respect of planning applications and about the links between the two when developing Planning Policy e.g. the Local Development Plan.

The presentation of the session can be viewed here.

Social Media

The Social Media session took place on 21 November 2015. The morning session provided 3 presentations covering the following areas - An Introduction to Social Media, Engagement: Social Media and Community Councils Online.

The afternoon was a hands on, interactive session where support and advice were offered in relation to various online tools.

How the Council Works

This session which took place on 1 December 2015 provided participants with information on the structure of the Council as well as information about how they could get involved and influence the Council.

Further information about Council Committees and membership can be found here.

How to Apply for a Grant Workshop

This session took place on 28 January 2016 and was designed to help participants improve their skills in preparing grant applications. The session was led by the Local Community Planning Team with a funding talk from Voluntary Arts Scotland and a demonstration and presentation on Edinburgh4Community from the Libraries and Information Service. Participants were invited to take part in a number of interactive group activities including an opportunity to decide on whether or not real funding applications should be awarded.

Materials provided included a comprehensive funding handbook, a briefing paper from Voluntary Arts Scotland and a funding information booklet  detailing a range of funders.

What Needs Planning Permission

The session was held on 23 February 2016 and was aimed at giving a better understanding of the background to the planning system and statutory powers. Giving an overview of how it is decided if planning permission is needed or not and discussing some of the questions that might arise about planning permission. As part of the session a there was an in-depth presentation which can be viewed here.