The Outer Hebrides Community Planning partnership supported the development of a strategic action team to ensure the timely delivery of an Antisocial Behaviour strategy and action plan in response to the legislation.
The Community Planning Partnership welcomes the development of a local strategy, which focuses services to effectively target hotspots within these islands. The significant resources accompanying the strategy enable agencies and departments to realistically consider the costs of delivering this service in a rural community.
The Antisocial Behaviour Strategy Group membership consists of representatives from:
Assistant Director of Housing (Chair)
Community Safety Officer (Secretariat)
Lawyer - Corporate Services
Deputy Director of Social Work
Inclusion Manager - Education
Area Inspector - Northern Constabulary
Within the Outer Hebrides, where staff often represent a number of organisations the group was considered representative of the interests of the people of the Outer Hebrides without being cumbersome.
Members readily reported back through their own department/agency, ensuring that departments were both aware of the developing strategy and able to contribute to the discussion.
Through Community Planning, the Antisocial Behaviour Strategy Group was set up reporting through the Community Safety Partnership to the Community Wellbeing Forum.
Whilst the Community Safety Partnership have been aware of the strategy and action plan development, due to the timescales involved, it was the Community Wellbeing Forum, and the Comhairle’s Policy and Resources Committee, who approved the strategy, action plan, outcome agreement and the funding allocations for the financial years 2006 – 08.
It is anticipated that annual reviews of the action plan and outcome agreement, will be reported both to the Comhairle and through Community Planning structures. This will be the responsibility of the Antisocial Behaviour Strategy Group with the Antisocial Behaviour Co-ordinator taking a lead role.
KEY STRATEGIC LINKS
The Antisocial Behaviour Strategic Group has been fortunate as key partners were willing to join the group and essential links with other strategic developments were more easily forged.
These include the Community Safety Strategy, Youth Justice, the Local Housing Plan, the Joint Health Improvement Plan, Building Better, Safer and More Attractive Communities, the Northern Constabulary Policing Plan, the Education Department Inclusion Policy and the Integrated Children’s Services Plan.
It has been a key task to work with departments, ensuring that these strategic links were made early. This fosters good relationships, ensures that everyone is aware of the wide ranging nature of the Antisocial Behaviour legislation, and develops the strategic planning for all departments and agencies in the Outer Hebrides.
It was recognised at an early stage in the development of the Antisocial Behaviour agenda locally, that staff would be required to support the implementation of the legislation. Close partnership working both between Comhairle departments and Community Planning Partners has ensured that this has been done in a fair, transparent and democratic way, leading to consensus between all partners.
The continuation of the posts developed under the Building Better, Safer and More Attractive Communities funding was considered essential although there was recognition that the remit of the posts would require to be further developed. It was therefore agreed that the Community Warden posts would be developed, to cover a wider area throughout the Outer Hebrides to support an equitable service for all.
The warden scheme has received widespread support both from the communities in which they serve, and from the agencies that they are working alongside.
An Antisocial Behaviour Co-ordinator was also considered essential. This post, based within the Housing dept will be both the strategic lead for antisocial behaviour throughout the Outer Hebrides and the co-ordinator for operational matters between departments. This post has been approved by the Comhairle’s Human Resources Committee and will be advertised in the near future.
Consideration was given to the nature of a post within the Islands of Uist and Barra. Whilst all the Comhairle departments recognised areas requiring further support, there was agreement that they did not require a full time post. It was therefore agreed that the best use of time and funding in the Uists/Barra would be the development of one FTE post, based within the Community Education department, with a wide remit covering environmental aspects of antisocial behaviour through community support and education, but also the co-ordination of support for young people through links with the Housing and Social Work departments. This post, although still in developmental stages has been recognised as innovative in its consideration of the sustainability of services in a rural community.
The post in the Social Work department in the Comhairle, takes into account the needs of the community and individuals, in receiving support and rehabilitation. This post will enable Social Work to actively engage in this process and to take a lead in the development of services to meet demand. It is anticipated that this post will be advertised in the early autumn of 2005.
POLCIES AND PROCEDURES
The Antisocial Behaviour Strategy Group will ensure the development of local policies and procedures to support the implementation of the legislation locally. These will be developed in partnership with the operational group involved in antisocial behaviour, for consideration by the Comhairle and other relevant local organisations.
MONITORING AND REVIEW
The Antisocial Behaviour Strategy Group accepts the role they have in ensuring both the monitoring and reporting of this strategy and action plan. The Group will aim to ensure the Antisocial Behaviour Co-ordinator is supported in their role, and will facilitate their work across departments and agencies.
Day to day responsibility for the monitoring and reporting on this strategy will be with the Antisocial Behaviour Co-ordinator. The Antisocial Behaviour Co-ordinator will work closely with all departments and agencies to ensure that data collection is appropriate, accurate, and shared as required. However, all the Heads of departments and agencies involved in this process have a responsibility toward ensuring that their department/agency is collecting the relevant data, and that this data is in a format to enable easy collection.
Monitoring will be monthly, with reports being circulated to the Antisocial Behaviour Strategy Group on a quarterly basis. These reports will form the basis of all annual reports. Annual reports will be produced for the Comhairle’s Policy and Resources Committee, the Community Safety Partnership and the Outer Hebrides Community Wellbeing Forum. The Antisocial Behaviour Co-ordinator on behalf of the Antisocial Behaviour Strategy group will be responsible for producing all reports.
The Antisocial Behaviour Co-ordinator on behalf of the Antisocial Behaviour Strategy Group will produce reports for the Scottish Executive in the required format when requested.
All targets considered and set locally, will be considered for inclusion in the Outer Hebrides Community Planning Partnership overarching aims.
Evaluation of the project will be done by systematically reviewing data, progress, reporting, and outcomes annually. Any problems meeting targets will be identified at the earliest opportunity, allowing the Antisocial Behaviour Strategy Group the means to ensure measures are put in place to rectify the outcome agreement agreed timescales.