The County You Live, Work And Play
Community Initiative In Craigneuk
A fresh approach to tackling inequality in Craigneuk is making a difference to the people who live there, North Lanarkshire Council say.
And Scotland’s top civil servant, Sir Peter Housden, visited the area recently to learn how the community are starting to make positive changes.
Mr Housden, Permanent Secretary to the Scottish Government, was accompanied by Gavin Whitefield, chief executive of North Lanarkshire Council.
Sir Peter heard about the pressing need to improve the area and how a community partnership was formed to address issues of poor health, high unemployment, inadequate facilities and activities for young people and antisocial behaviour
As a result, the Craigneuk Action Plan was developed covering the following areas:
• Community engagement and community events.
• Financial inclusion and welfare reform.
• Employability and employment opportunities.
• Environment, estate management – garden tidy service and tackling dog fouling, youth offender group pilot.
• Early years, young people and childcare.
• Health, wellbeing and older peoples services.
• Infrastructure – optimise the use and management of community facilities and other buildings.
Following a recent survey, more than 500 people replied and the outcome of this will help shape plans for the area.
Michele Battersby, local regeneration manager, explains: “We needed to develop an approach to addressing Craigneuk’s inequalities that was different to what has gone before.
“The community needed to be involved at every level in the decision-making process.
“Regular meetings were established with the Community Participation Group and a range of issues affecting this community were identified. “
Another key way of ensuring community involvement is through the local school.
Carrie Nicol, head teacher at Berryhill Primary School and Nursery, explains: “As head teacher of this school I am extremely proud of our children, staff and parents who continue to work together to build capacity within our own community in order to improve outcomes for everyone.”
Gavin Whitefield said: “There are encouraging signs of increased confidence and trust developing between the community and local agencies such as the council, health board, police and also the other community planning partnership agencies involved.”
Permanent Secretary Sir Peter Housden said: “The Craigneuk Action Plan is a striking example of North Lanarkshire Council working in strong partnership across all their functions with a range of community and voluntary groups. This is an inspirational group of people working together to strengthen their community.”