As part of the development of the Comhairle’s Corporate Strategy 2017-21, the Comhairle facilitated a Members’ Seminar on 21 June 2017. Based on the outcomes of that seminar, the Comhairle prepared a draft Corporate Strategy which it issued as a consultation document to the Public, Press, Community Planning Partners, Community Councils and Locality Planning Groups, in October 2017, with a deadline for responses set for 17November 2017.
We asked respondents to consider the Comhairle’s future strategic direction in terms of the following:
The Vision of the Comhairle
Health and Social Care
Our Islands Our Future
Single Public Authority
Comhairle’s Strategic Priorities:
- Economy and Jobs;
- Communities and Housing;
- Education, Skills and Training; and
- Quality of Life, Health and Wellbeing.
The consultation yielded 7 responses, none of which were from the public. Respondents included HHP; NHS Western Isles; Uist Locality Planning; Historic Scotland; Harris and South Lochs Councillors; and the Comhairle’s elected Members from the SNP Group.
An analysis of the responses is outlined in the Report (277.4kB) (Opens in a new window or downloads a file)which went to the Comhairle’s Policy and Resources Committee on 13 December 2017.
The analysis of the responses in the Report is self-explanatory. Some responses were taken on board in terms of incorporation into the final Strategy document and some not; a rationale was provided in each case. The Comhairle’s Corporate Strategy (2.8MB) (Opens in a new window or downloads a file) has been published and circulated widely to interested parties, or potentially interested parties.
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The Comhairle’s Corporate Strategy sets the strategic direction of the Comhairle in each council term and the current strategy ends in December 2017. In recent months, the Comhairle has been considering its future strategic priorities in the wider context of the current public sector financial environment, Community Planning, Community Empowerment, Health and Social Care integration, Our Islands: Our Future’s Islands Deal and the Islands Bill. This has been undertaken in parallel with the development of the Outer Hebrides Community Planning Partnership’s Local Outcomes Improvement Plan (LOIP) 2017-27.
The common themes of both the Corporate Strategy and the LOIP are that the Western Isles has to be an attractive place to invest, live, work and visit; that it is necessary to create and sustain the social and economic conditions which encourage our young people to remain on the islands; that there requires to be an aim to retain and maintain an economically active population; that a safe environment must be provided in which to pursue healthy and active lifestyles, and that caring communities must be supported to look after the elderly and support independent living.
The overarching priorities of the Comhairle’s Corporate Strategy are: Economy and Jobs; Communities and Housing; Education, Skills and Training; and Quality of Life, Health and Wellbeing.
Why We Are Consulting
The period of the Comhairle’s Corporate Strategy 2012-17 will expire in December 2017. Elected Members, the Comhairle’s Management Team and officers have been reviewing the existing strategic priorities with a view to producing a Strategy for the new Comhairle period 2017-21.
We are now seeking wider public consultation on the draft Strategy at Appendix 1 and invite comments using the short questionnaire at Appendix 2.
Please respond to Angus Murray at firstname.lastname@example.org or at Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Council Offices, Chief Executive’s Department, Sandwick Road, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, HS1 2BW.
What Happens Next
The formal Strategy consultation period runs for five weeks with the deadline for submissions being Wednesday 15th November 2017. Following the public consultation, it is anticipated that the Comhairle’s finalised Corporate Strategy 2017-21 will be presented for approval by the Comhairle in December 2017, with design and publication anticipated early in 2018.