Go to recipes A-Z

Unfortunately, there is no standard out of the box community planning blueprint. As each area is uniquely shaped by its people, culture and surroundings, the approach will be different for every community or neighbourhood.

VP groups can pick and choose recipes that would work best for their communities.

This cookbook which is constantly being updated, lists various recipes from A-Z on how to undertake community planning

How do you get started with community planning?

Back to recipes A-Z

Key elements of community-led planning

1. Strong leadership

Planning should be led by a group from the community that has credibility with the different sections of the community. The group must balance the interest of all stakeholders.

2. Community engagement

The community or locality should be involved in every step of the planning process. Isolated groups should be given a voice.

3. Strong evidence base

An effective plan is based on the views of the people which are grounded in evidence of real issues and aspirations.

4. Vision

A clear vision for the future will inform the way ahead. It should be grounded and must relate to opportunities and the the local context.

5. Action plans

the vision should be translated into a an action plan with clear objectives and priorities.

Town Action Planning framework

One of the most frequently used community-led planning methodologies in England is the Town Action Planning. Aimed primarily at small and medium sized towns with population from 2,000 50,000, town action planning focuses on undertaking consultation about local issues and gathering local information to build a comprehensive picture.

It comprises 7 stages which are summarised here. For more information about the Town planning booklet, visit www.towns.org.uk.

Stage 1 - Setting up a partnership

Sometimes an existing leadership group will already exist or become part of an expanded partnership. A necessary first step is to identify a group of individuals who will take on the CLP exercise. The group needs to be representative of the interests of the town and surrounding area and requires someone to act as overall co-ordinator.

Stage 2 - Gaining community commitment

The town partnership then map out the issues of key concern to the community, possibly through a community event, and identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats facing the town.

Stage 3 - Completing a facts and feedback process

At an early stage, a factual snapshot of the town, in terms of environment, economy. Social and community issues, transport and accessibility is created to aid further consultations. Then a more detailed evidence-base for the town is created, along with widespread consultation on local issues and needs. The community uses this, and their own experience, to explore what the priorities for the town are.

Stage 4 -Creating a vision

Using the evidence and experience base, a community event is held to pinpoint overarching vision for the town with some practical objectives to achieve it.

Stage 5 - Preparing an action plan

An action plan is created which details how the objectives in the vision document are to be achieved. This sets out resources (people, time, funding) priorities and timings, and sets out how the objectives will be monitored.

Stage 6- putting the plan into action

Undertaking the agreed actions to achieve the objectives, and then ensuring an effective monitoring and evaluation programme is in place.

Stage 7 - Sustaining the partnership

Ensuring the sustainability of the partnership is key to the continuing success of the CLP process and means that legalities should be explored, as well as longer term funding opportunities.

source: www.towns.org.uk

Flaxroots is a priority initiative of the North Shore Community and Social Services funded under the Community Development Scheme of the Department of Internal Affairs