The Outer Hebrides Community Planning Partnership has published a draft locality plan online for Benbecula and North Uist.
The OHCPP is the group that brings together agencies from across the Outer Hebrides with the common purpose of improving the lives of people and communities of the islands as set out in the Community Empowerment Scotland Act of 2015. Alongside the development of a Locality Outcomes Improvement Plan for all the Outer Hebrides, we are working on locality plans for two areas we’ve identified as most likely to need support to improve their circumstances. These are Benbecula and North Uist, and Stornoway West. Both these areas are experiencing poorer outcomes and less improvement in outcomes than other areas within the Outer Hebrides and within Scotland. The OHCPP will be engaging further with the community in Stornoway about the extent of the area to be covered by that plan. The locality plan for Stornoway West is being developed and will be issued later. Should anybody wish to contribute/participate in this plan, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr Maggie Watts, Director of Public Health, NHS Western Isles, said: "When we look at eight key features of small areas including fuel poverty, child poverty and early deaths, which can be compared across Scotland and apply them to the Outer Hebrides, we see that Benbecula and North Uist is identified as the second most vulnerable area within the Outer Hebrides after Stornoway West.
Earlier this year we asked people to complete a survey about ‘How Good is our Place?’ We have used the consultation responses and the discussions in community meetings held in North Uist and Benbecula aided by Third Sector colleagues to identify priorities for action for North Uist and Benbecula."
Councillor Norman A MacDonald, Chairman of the OHCPP, said: “I would urge residents to look at this locality plan and provide feedback which will be really helpful to us in creating the final plan to assist the effective development of their own areas.”
The Priority areas for North Uist and Benbecula have been identified as:
- Housing for families and Small and Medium Enterprise business ideas in North Uist
- Care and Maintenance – Balivanich
- Actions supported by the Uist Economic Forum
- Working in partnership with the community to find solutions (co-production)
Residents of Balivanich and North Uist are being asked to make comments and suggestions by 31 October 2017 to email@example.com. The comments and suggestions will be considered by the OHCPP in November and a final plan produced. Partners will also make use of the time between now and November to meet with community members and to make sure that we can measure improvements to be able to demonstrate change.