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Frequently Asked Questions

The FAQs below cover the basics of community planning. If you’re going to be more involved, for example by being on one of the groups (or if you’re just interested!) you can find a more detailed set of FAQs here.

What is community planning? 

Community planning is a process that helps public agencies work together with the community to deliver better services.  It is based on the simple idea that if we all work well together then public services will improve for the people who use them. Because of the smaller scale of the organisations involved in Orkney, this notion of joined working was familiar before community planning first became a legal duty in 2003. We do it naturally here in a small community. 

What does that mean in practice?

It means public, private and voluntary sector organisations working together to improve the quality of people’s lives. We do this by working with local communities, businesses, charities and voluntary groups. Together we plan to improve and deliver better, more joined-up public services in Orkney.

Why do we need community planning?

Community planning is needed to ensure that the services provided to the people of Orkney are of the highest possible standards. By working together in partnership we can achieve much more than we could as individual organisations. In many areas individual organisations are already working well. They have their own purpose and provide different services. But through community planning we can spot any problem areas or gaps and tackle these together. We can also make a joint effort to address the challenges that are too large for one organisation on their own to deal with. 

Which organisations are involved in community planning?

Community planning involves a number of organisations such as: OIC, NHS Orkney, HIE, Police Scotland and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service who have a legal duty to facilitate community planning. There are other organisations who have a legal duty to participate in community planning. These include: SNH, Orkney Health and Care, UHI, HiTrans, SDS and VisitScotland. We’ve also included VAO and OHAL in the core group. Other organisations play an important part in community planning as members of the Delivery Groups, for example JobCentre Plus, Orkney Blide Trust and Age Concern. We’ve named only a few of the organisations who are involved to show the wide range of service providers who contribute towards the process. 

How does it work in Orkney?

Orkney’s community planning partnership is called ‘The Orkney Partnership’. The Partnership has a Board that is supported by an Executive Group of senior officers. The Board has assigned each of its strategic priorities to a Delivery Group:

  • Healthy and Sustainable Communities
  • Positive Ageing
  • Vibrant Economic Environment

You can find more detail on the structure in the Terms of Reference.

How do I find out about the work being undertaken by the community planning partnership?

A wide range of information is available here on the Orkney Partnership section of the Orkney Communities website.  You can also contact the Community Planning Business Manager by e-mail on corporateservices@orkney.gov.uk or by telephone on 01856 873535 extension 2153.

How can I input into community planning?

Through this website (see the contacts page) or by contacting the Community Planning Business Manager.

Will my views and opinions make a difference?

We want everyone to have the opportunity to let us have their views on matters that are important to them, whether you’re an interested individual or part of a group such as a hall committee. We all have our own ideas of what we would like to see happening in Orkney; ranging from short term practical ideas, to long term visions for the future. You can do this by responding to consultations or getting in touch with us at any time. This, in combination with partner organisations, can make sure that our collective efforts are focussed on the shared aims and objectives for the future of Orkney.