Scottish Borders Council

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, Council Headquarters, Newtown St Boswells

Contact: Jenny Wilkinson  Tel: 01835 825004 Email:

No. Item






Minute of Meeting of Community Planning Strategic Board pdf icon PDF 75 KB

- 8 September 2016 (Copy attached.)


The Minute of the previous meeting of the Community Planning Strategic Board held on 8 September 2016 had been circulated. 

APPROVED the Minute.


Action Tracker pdf icon PDF 72 KB

(Copy attached.)


The Action Tracker had been circulated.  With reference to the meeting held on 8 September 2016, members of the Board confirmed that they would ensure that - if required - the new governance arrangements for the Community Planning Partnership were approved within their own organisations.



Presentation on Developing Our Young Workforce


4.1       Kevin McCall, SBC Education Lead Officer, gave a presentation on Developing the Young Workforce, a programme of positive destinations for school leavers which cut across schools, College, Skills Development Scotland, Job Centre Plus, etc.  An explanation was given of the various pathways linked to the programme, which took account of new issues, policies and guidance to put in place a structure to make this happen for young people.  Key highlights for 2016 included a grant for £450k in October 2016 to enhance industry leadership and capacity for engagement with partners and this had enabled work with a wide range of employers.  In March 2016 there were 585 Modern Apprenticeships offered by 99 companies in the Borders and work with Registered Social Landlords had increased the range of these apprenticeships.  Borders College had a formalised permanent post for dedicated time and an aligned timetable was in place with secondary schools, Borders College and the Schools Academy.  Better use had been made of data to design vocational pathways over the next 10 years so different types of apprenticeships were coming in and were being explored.


4.2       The Schools and Pathways Group had developed a regional action plan which provided a whole range of opportunities within schools, although pupils were sometimes still being channelled through traditional routes.  With regard to vulnerable groups activity, Stage 3 Employability Training had involved training for 66 young people, with work experience opportunities and transport funding support.  Project SEARCH had involved 8 young people with learning disability or autism being given employability support in conjunction with Borders College and NHS Borders.  Other support had been provided to looked after and accommodated children and the most vulnerable young people.  In terms of outcomes, the system now produced live data about positive destinations.  In October 2016, 95.8% of school leavers were in a positive destination.  That still left 4% (about 60 young people) not accounted for within the system and the challenge was to find and support those young people. 


4.3       Members of the Board discussed the issues facing young people in seeking work experience, including volunteering.  Reference was made to the Inspire Awards, run by young people and overseen by the Third Sector, which recognised and rewarded young individuals or groups who have been outstandingly successful in a particular field or had overcome considerable obstacles to make a contribution to their local community.  Jedburgh Grammar School had tracked Inspire as a portfolio and had registered every S1 pupil with the Scheme.  Transport could be a challenge for young people but schools worked closely with transport planners and on timing of courses with Borders College to try to mitigate against the reality of the Borders being a rural area.  With the focus on local employer contact and work experience, it was hoped transport would become less of an issue.  The relevance and breadth of work experience opportunities was still an issue at times but these were steadily improving by matching pupils’ needs and aspirations, fitting better to the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Equally Safe Strategy 2016 - 21 pdf icon PDF 107 KB

(Copy report and appendix attached.)

Additional documents:


This item was withdrawn.


Scottish Borders Community Justice Outcomes Improvement Plan 2017 - 2020 pdf icon PDF 116 KB

(Copy report and 2 appendices attached.)

Additional documents:


Jeanette McDiarmid, SBC Depute Chief Executive – People, explained that the Plan was a requirement under the Community Justice (Scotland) Act 2016 and had to be published by 31 March 2017.  Scottish Government had provided a national strategy and guidance which was reflected in the Plan.  The existing Community Justice Authority would cease on 31 March 2017 and Community Justice Scotland would take the Plan forward from 1 April 2017.  Key facts and issues were detailed in the Plan along with outcome improvement actions.  It was confirmed that the Third Sector supported this work, although not mentioned specifically as a partner.  The Plan gave good opportunities for partnership working to help offenders, their families and communities to stop or reduce offending and avoid repeat offending.  There was significant  scope for partner organisations to make a contribution and identify how offenders could be rehabilitated.  The College had offenders attending courses and there were protocols in place.  Members of the Board queried a couple of figures in the Plan, which Jeanette McDiarmid undertook to check.  Some concern was expressed that the Plan and consultation document may be too technical for members of the public to understand. 


AGREED that the consultation on the Community Justice Outcomes Improvement Plan be issued and a report of the outcome be brought back to the Strategic Board in due course.

Jeanette McDiarmid



Scottish Government Guidance & timescales


Shona Smith, SBC Communities and Partnership Manager, advised the Board that the Community Planning part of the Community Empowerment legislation was due to come into force on 20 December 2016, with the Asset Transfer section coming into force on 23 January 2017.  It was anticipated that final guidance would be issued by the Scottish Government shortly, with ‘plain english’ guidance coming out to communities and partners.  A set of FAQs for both staff and public had been developed, along with an e-learning module and drop-in workshops.  These resources were available for all partners to access. 



LOIP and Locality Plans


6.1       Jeanette McDiarmid, SBC Depute Chief Executive – People, advised of previous work that the Council had been undertaking in the Cheviot Area, which had included the Living Safely in the Home programme delivered with the Fire & Rescue Service to elderly people in their homes to prevent fires and falls.  There were now draft economic development and locality property plans for Cheviot.  Councillor Brown explained that by having a Locality Plan, communities could then be involved in prioritising actions for their own area.  Colin Banks, SBC Lead Officer for Localities, gave a presentation on the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 as it related to Community Planning, focussing in particular on the Local Outcomes Improvement Plan (LOIP) and the Locality Plans.  These Plans were due to be published by 1 October 2017, with all needing to show a clear, evidence-based and robust strong understanding of local needs, circumstances, and aspirations of their local communities.  Details were given of the proposed structure and content for both the LOIP and the Locality Plans.  The Board considered the proposed structure and content to be a good start but this needed to be translated for communities so that they were connected in from the start, as at the moment there was a big disconnect from the centre to Area Forums and Community Councils.  Partners would contribute to Locality Plans  with collaborative actions from existing plans and any plans which were being refreshed to reflect the CPP priorities. The intention was that these Plans would be concise, simple documents.  However, it was vital that communities were involved in their development and that communities’ own ambitions were reflected otherwise these Plans may not succeed.


6.2       Colin Banks then advised of one issue with the legislation which placed a maximum population figure of 30,000 on a locality, but Eildon area population was 35,000.  Further consideration would be given to this but it was likely the Eildon Locality Plan would cover the whole area and not be split.  The draft LOIP and Locality Plan templates along with the timelines would be considered at a development day for the CPP Joint Delivery Team being held in December.  As part of consultation the aim was to use the Scottish Government’s “Place Standard – How Good is Our Place?” which was a tool to help evaluate the quality of a place (14 aspects, such as housing & community, social interaction, work & local economy, etc.) as well as helping to identify priorities.  Local community groups, the People’s Panel, Community Councils, etc. would all be invited to participate, including using on-line surveys, and if there was enough response from communities then they would be included in the Plans and would be a strong baseline for the future.  The value was about bringing communities together to allow them to take forward their own work.  While it was recognised that the timelines were not ideal, there was also a need to be pragmatic about getting the first iteration of Plans published by the October 2017 deadline;  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.


Update from Economy and Low Carbon Delivery Team pdf icon PDF 82 KB

(Copy update attached.  Also attached for information are Economic Development updates provided to SBC Executive Committee in October and November 2016.)

Additional documents:


Rob Dickson, SBC Transformation and Corporate Services Director, presented the papers on the work of the Economy and Low Carbon Delivery Team.  In particular, reference was made to the recent Scottish Government publication of the Phase 1 report for the Enterprise and Skills Review and the proposed new vehicle for South of Scotland.  This was a huge opportunity for the CP Partnership to seize and to work together for the best outcome for the area.  This was not about having a local enterprise company back again, but something new and different about innovation, skills, and enterprise, including social enterprise.  Tony Jakimciw advised that Borders College and Dumfries & Galloway College Boards had recently held a meeting to work out their joint purpose so that they did not end up in competition.  While the 2 Councils, Scottish Enterprise and the business sector worked together in the South of Scotland Alliance, this currently did not include the college sector and consideration should be given to widening out the stakeholder group or setting up a new group.  In response to a question about the Chancellor’s Autumn Budget Statement, it was confirmed that the potential increase in Council Tax on higher end properties in Scotland and the difference in Stamp Duty rates between Scotland and England should not have any greater impact on the Borders than elsewhere in Scotland.  It was further confirmed that the Borders railway performance recently reported in the media was not as bad as had been made out – at present punctuality was 89% within 5 minutes of the timetable, and the aim was 92%.  This meant 9 trains out of 10 arrived within 5 minutes of timetable.  The problem was to do with infrastructure and capacity and would have affected the previous franchise holder in much the same way as it was currently doing for Abellio.  The Council Leader and Chief Executive had recently met with the Chair of Network Rail.  



Schedule and format of future meetings pdf icon PDF 36 KB

- discussion.  (Copy remit of Strategic Board attached as aid memoire.)


Board members discussed the format of future meetings of the Strategic Board to ensure the Board’s work was focussed and engaged not only at Board meetings but also members were ensuring community planning was embedded within their own partner organisation.  The key to community planning was that the public and communities bought in to it.  Historically it was recognised that the Council had taken the lead on the work for community planning and this needed to change so that partners were far more involved in development work rather than at the end of the process for the decision.  This should ensure that Locality Plans had partner input and that the Board was kept updated with the work of the Delivery Teams.  A forward plan for agendas would be developed.  Members were in agreement that a workshop be held for the Strategic Board sometime after Spring 2017.


(a)  Board agendas would reflect Board responsibilities i.e. the Local Outcomes Improvement Plan, the 5 Locality Plans, and work of the Delivery Teams; and


(b)  a workshop would be organised for the members of the CP Strategic Board.




Community Planning

- any current issues raised by partners for discussion/consideration.


No issues were raised for discussion/consideration. 




It was suggested that work on the content for the proposed conference/workshop for the wider Community Planning Consultative Group in August 2017 be started early in 2017. 


Work on the content of the proposed conference/ workshop for the wider Community Planning Consultative Group would begin in early 2017. 

Shona Smith/All




Scottish Borders Council

Council Headquarters Newtown St. Boswells Melrose TD6 0SA

Tel: 0300 100 1800


For more Contact Details