Ambitious plan outlines bright future for people of Aberdeen

Community Planning Aberdeen, a multi-agency partnership, has agreed a set of key priorities to ensure that Aberdeen is a place where all people can prosper.

The partnership, which includes representatives from Aberdeen City Council, Police Scotland, NHS Grampian, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Aberdeen Council of Voluntary Organisation and Aberdeen Civic Forum, have considered the Local Outcome Improvement Plan (LOIP) which will evaluate and measure the impact of partnership working to break cycles of deprivation which persist for some of our communities in Aberdeen.

Improvement aims have been set such as doubling the number of staff in the early learning and childcare sector to be able to offer childcare places to all families in Aberdeen, to develop an inclusion programme which would see 95% of those children with additional support needs offered education and learning in their own communities and to reduce youth crime and school exclusion rates by 75% by 2026/27.

Other improvement aims include increasing the number of jobs across a range of sectors, increasing footfall by 10%, improving transportation to reduce travel times for commuters, visitors and commercial vehicles and developing a digital infrastructure which will increase internet speeds and allow greater access to superfast broadband to encourage new business.

A new digital infrastructure would also create intelligent systems and approaches to support vulnerable adults, increase community resilience and community safety and help predict potential risks.

Chair of Community Planning Aberdeen and Aberdeen City Council Leader, Councillor Jenny Laing has hailed the LOIP as not just a mere aspiration for the future but as a genuine plan for improvement and a clear blueprint for collaborative actions.

Councillor Laing said: “This LOIP marks a new beginning for how we will work together and in partnership with our communities. It signals our joint commitment, confidence and ambition to achieve our vision of Aberdeen as a place where all people can prosper.

“By ensuring that all people in Aberdeen have the opportunity to do well, succeed and flourish, no matter their social circumstances, we can help prevent a series of intractable problems for the future.

“The ultimate expression of this is our commitment to investing in our children. It is unacceptable that due to a lack of income, families can be dragged into a cycle of deprivation that is repeated generation after generation.

“We want Aberdeen to be a place where children and young people have the opportunity to reach their potential and achieve their ambition regardless of their background and circumstances.

“There is no doubt that we face challenges, but Community Planning Aberdeen is committed to tackle these head on. The opportunities are great and we are committed to working in new and more integrated ways to tackle the issues which have been stubbornly resistant to improvement in Aberdeen.”

Community Planning was first introduced in Aberdeen at the end of the 1990s and saw public agencies working jointly with communities to co-design solutions to local problems.

This way of working was seen as sector leading in Scotland and in the last 13 years the Scottish Government has done much to spread the practice of community planning across all areas of the Country.

Under the Community Empowerment Act, it is a legal requirement that Community Planning Partnerships in Scotland (CPP) draft and agree a Local Outcome Improvement Plan by October 2017.

Aberdeen is now one of the first CPP’s to agree a LOIP and begin taking the actions forward.