Report highlights achievements of plan aimed at improving residents’ lives

Protecting vulnerable people through initiatives such as the launch of an anti-suicide app for mobile phones, schemes which aim to divert young people from anti-social behaviour, starting an alcohol misuse referral scheme which signposts people with alcohol issues to support and recovery services, the start of the Priority Families Service, starting Scotland’s first dementia friendly disco – these are all highlights of what has been achieved in the first year of the Local Outcome Improvement Plan (LOIP) in Aberdeen.

The LOIP successes include the Choose Life app which reached 22.000 users from March 2016 and August 2017, and there was a 28% decrease in suicides in Grampian in 2016 compared to 8%.

Another is narrowing the attainment gap between the highest and lowest-achieving-20% children and more children entering positive destinations after leaving school, with 1% more from deprived areas.

A further achievement is an 8% increase in the percentage of people who reported that they feel safe in the city since last year and a reduction in crime overall.

One of the LOIP’s ambitions is to be a people-friendly city, and Aberdeen is one of the first Scottish cities to be accepted onto UNICEF’s Child Friendly Partners.

The partnership includes representatives from Aberdeen City Council, Police Scotland, NHS Grampian, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Aberdeen Council of Voluntary Organisation and Aberdeen Civic Forum.

The Local Outcome Improvement Plan 2016-26 sets out a vision for the city and is a 10-year plan for how Community Planning Aberdeen will help realise this vision by working together and with communities to improve their areas.

Aberdeen City Council Co-Leader Councillor Jenny Laing said: “Community Planning Aberdeen has achieved much in its first year of the LOIP and that is a testament to the hard work and dedication by both City Council staff, and the partners involved.

“There is more which Community Planning Aberdeen wants to achieve - helping people affected by household food insecurity is a focus and we hope to be able to see a future improvement in the data as a result of initiatives being put in place now; such as free school meals during holidays in our priority localities and supporting communities to grow their own food.

“Participatory budgeting is an approach we are using to give people a direct say in how and where public funds can be used to address local needs, and over this period, we allocated £384,500 to fund a range of community projects across Aberdeen, including in our priority localities.

“We have also been involving communities in our improvement projects which are testing new ways of working using existing resources, with the dog fouling project in Torry being a fantastic example of how we are working with local people to tackle an age-old problem for so many communities in Aberdeen.

“We will use the learning from this project, and others, to test for success in other areas of Aberdeen. Working in this way, directly engaging, participating with and empowering communities, is how we will continue going forward, capitalising on the ambition and insights of our communities to make things better. We are excited to see what more can be achieved in the year ahead.”

Local Police Commander for North East Division Chief Superintendent Campbell Thomson, who is Vice Chair of Community Planning Aberdeen, said: "It is extremely positive to see how much has been achieved by the Local Outcome Improvement Plan (LOIP) and locality plans in Aberdeen in their first year.

"This is testament to the hard work by staff, all partners and indeed communities themselves who are all dedicated to working together throughout the year to make a real difference for the people of Aberdeen."

Aberdeen was one of the first Community Planning Partnership to agree a LOIP in August 2016 and is the only one to produce its first annual report. Under the Community Empowerment Act, it is a legal requirement that Community Planning Partnerships in Scotland agree a Local Outcome Improvement Plan by October 2017.

More information about Community Planning Aberdeen, its achievements, and aims can be found in the annual report online at http://communityplanningaberdeen.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/APR-2016-17-Appendix-1.pdf. Copies of the report can be obtained by emailing communityplanning@aberdeencity.gov.uk or phoning 01224 522367.