Local Plans for deprived areas a shambles – Robert Brown

1st July 2017

40% of Rutherglen zones and 20% of Cambuslang areas are identified as being in the most needy areas of South Lanarkshire for deprivation and inequality. And Rutherglen South, Rutherglen Central and North, Cambuslang East and Cambuslang West are amongst 9 Neighbourhood Planning Areas proposed for particular action in a report to the Council’s Executive Committee on Wednesday.

But the Council proposals for the future of community planning in these areas received a rough passage at the Council’s Executive Committee on Wednesday.

Rutherglen Liberal Democrat Councillor Robert Brown described the proposals as being like a “mint with a hole in the middle” because there was no plan for how things would work in the local area or how local communities would be consulted or involved. Other Councillors attacked the lack of consideration given to poverty in rural areas.

Under severe pressure from Opposition Councillors, the SNP administration agreed to set up a Working Group to examine the arrangements.

Robert Brown said:

“I thought this huge 80 page Report largely missed the point and missed out almost entirely how Locality Plans would work and how the local community would be involved. To be honest, it was a bit of a shambles.

Everyone agrees that there are significant areas of multiple deprivation, not least in the Rutherglen and Cambuslang areas, which need extra action to give people more opportunities, to boost employment and family incomes and to tackle the many aspects of multiple deprivation.

The problem was that the Council have been told by the Scottish government to produce Locality Plans on far too tight a timetable and without any review of how it all fits with existing arrangements. My personal view is that the Rutherglen and Cambuslang Area Committee and the other Area Committees should be given more powers, the successful Neighbourhood Management Boards in areas like Cathkin and Fernhill should be built on, and other arrangements like the Housing Forums should be reviewed to ensure a wider public involvement and a closer link with the Area Committee.

I hope the Working Group which has now been agreed will look at all this and come up with some decent arrangements.”

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