Community Survey for CAP Starts!

The Community Survey is finally here! The responses to this community survey feed are an important input into the ongoing Community Action Plan (CAP.) Would all residents please complete the survey.

More information about the CAP (and the survey) is given elsewhere on our website.

Below is a copy of an online version of a poster to be shared on social media encouraging residents to complete a community survey questionnaire as soon as possible, and before the 26th September 2021. Please share with other residents, particularly those who do not use social media.

COVID-19 Update

SDC has been asked by the Highland Council to pass on information with regard to the current situation with respect to COVID-19 across the community.

The Highland Council has made a press statement in partnership with NHS Highland about the pandemic.

In addition, the Highland Council has passed a briefing to SDC that contains important information. SDC has also been asked to share a statement from NHS Highland.

Parents, their children and those running community groups should probably read these documents.

Community Action Plan Poster

Strathnairn’s Community Action Plan is starting to take shape.

Below is a copy of an online version of a poster to be shared on social media encouraging residents to complete a community survey questionnaire when it is issued. Please share with other residents, particularly those who do not use social media.

Community Action Plan for Strathnairn

We are pleased to be able to announce that consultants, Impact Hub Inverness, have been appointed to carry out a Community Action Plan (CAP) for Strathnairn. An application to Strathnairn Community Benefit Fund (SCBF), which distributes community benefit payments from local renewable energy installations, for full funding has been successful. SDC is very grateful that full funding has been possible. The consultants are to begin work at the end of June, and finish at the end of October.

Below we have provided answers to some questions members of the community may have about the CAP.

What is a CAP?

A CAP establishes a framework for the community to express its needs as perceived by the community, and plan how and when these activities will occur. Focus is more on the process of understanding and overcoming problems in order to meet community needs than just physical development. The community is the main actor in preparing its own CAP.

The process of creating a CAP is not simply a means by which residents can tell existing community groups what they need to do. Issues might include :- existing community groups may not have access to the resources to implement what the community decides it needs; they may not have the capacity in terms of finance, volunteers or training; and there may be legal obstacles. On the other hand, community groups need to recognise the importance of knowing what their community wants, the advantages of planning for the future together. 

An effective CAP is created with a partnership of residents and community groups working together to identify, plan and implement the future shape of our community. CAPs also need be flexible – it needs to be easily adjustable to account for unexpected events – for example to cope with a global pandemic. Our CAP will cover the next 10 years. The latter 5 years will be a bit sketchy, and some updating will be needed in about 5 years time.

Doesn’t Strathnairn already have a CAP?

This is a common misconception. Strathnairn has never had a CAP. A community survey was carried out in 2013, with the intention of producing a CAP from it, but this was not done. Even if a CAP had been done it would be almost 8 years old by now and in need of serious updating.

Why can’t Strathnairn do its own CAP? Why does it need a consultant?

Creating a CAP with the help of a consultant means the CAP is created with the benefit of latest techniques and ideas. Only experienced consultants were asked to tender for the CAP. In addition having consultants from outside Strathnairn involved reduces the tendency for unintentional bias that might otherwise creep in. Also respondents to the community survey can be more open about their opinions as respondents will remain anonymous.

Developing our community will rely on funds from outside Strathnairn. But to secure funding from organisations other than SCBF will require a good quality CAP which can only be produced by an experienced independent consultant.

But how does the community get involved?

Community involvement is still under discussion with input from the consultants. There will be a community survey with input from community groups. We shall provide more information when we have it.

Scottish Parliament Election – 6 May 2021

SDC has been asked to pass on the following information from the Highland Council with regard to the Scottish Parliament Election on 6th May 2021 :-

General risk assessments and specific COVID risk assessments have been carried out at every polling station and extra staff have been recruited to help make sure the voting experience is as smooth as possible as things will look different.  Changes include :-

  • There will be a limit on the number of people entering at one time so there may be queues at some polling stations at peak times
  • Face coverings will be required
  • Hand sanitiser will be available on entry and exit
  • Polling station staff will be behind protective screens but still available to help and support voters
  • There will be regular cleaning at polling stations throughout the day on a regular and frequent basis.
  • Voters will be asked to take their own pen or pencil but if they don’t have one, one will be provided from a new box of pencils for their use only

There have been changes to the location of some polling stations for this election so voters are encouraged to check their polling cards.

A video has been produced to help voters understand what to expect.  The video covers all the hygiene and physical distancing measures that will be in place.

Community Action Plan

SDC has over most of the last month been preparing tender documents for a Community Action Plan (CAP): a plan to help the community identify issues, priorities and opportunities and how to address them. 

A CAP is a road map for implementing community change and delivery of essential services by clarifying what will be done, who will do it and how it will be done. A community participates in its creation and approval. The plan describes what the community wants to achieve, what activities are required during a specified time period, what resources are needed to be successful. It becomes a framework for implementing the activities that are decided by the community itself. The focus is more on the process of understanding and overcoming problems in order to develop the whole community rather than just physical development such as building houses or recreational facilities for example.

The completion of a CAP was a key recommendation in Foundation Scotland’s review of SCBF, published in 2017. Foundation Scotland was of the view that the lack of a CAP was keenly felt in Strathnairn. Community members will be asked to participate in this process by a variety of means including surveys, face-to-face discussions (where COVID restrictions permit), online surveys and telephone discussions. There will also be an advisory panel comprising a representative section of the community to guide the consultants in their work.

Tender documents have been sent to a short list of appropriate consultants, and should be returned to SDC in a few days. Applications for funding will then be made with a view to beginning work at the end of June 2021.

SDC will also be discussing the formation of the advisory panel with key stakeholders shortly.