Issued: 26 February 2004
Focus On Brechin And Area Seminar
Joint working in Brechin and the surrounding area was the subject for discussion at a recent seminar at Angus Digital Media Centre.
Attended by almost 70 representatives of local agencies, organisations and groups the Brechin gathering (18 February) was the fifth in a rolling programme of seminars throughout Angus, to develop the local aspect of community planning.
Hosted by the Angus Community Planning Partnership, the seminar focused on priority issues for improved partnership working in Brechin and Area. The issues identified range from the strategic, for organisations as a whole, to the operational between local workers of area based organisations. Also included was the work between communities, community groups and voluntary organisations, some of which are already involved in the City of Brechin Partnership.
A number of presentations were made at the seminar including an update on the progress of community planning in Angus, the City of Brechin Partnership, the local impact of health service development in the county, and the significant developments over community ownership of the Retreat in Glen Esk.
"The speakers set a very positive tone for the day, addressing a range of issues from the very strategic to the very local," said Sandy Watson, Chief Executive of Angus Council.
"Community planning is about organisations working with each other and communities to provide better services and improve people's quality of life, accepting there are many issues which cannot be dealt with effectively by organisations working on their own. I was therefore particularly pleased that, through the subsequent discussions, we were able to identify a number of suggestions for practical joint action."
Other comments from delegates were overwhelmingly positive, with most useful aspects being described as 'the broad exchange of views and ideas', and the opportunity for 'open and frank discussion'.
The main priorities were identified as:
- Brechin Town Centre - a meeting is to be called of key agencies/individuals to effect change
- Aiding better partnership working - for example by gathering and publishing information on the broad range of local organisations and their work
- Defining the area - recognising the importance of the rural area surrounding Brechin and encouraging the broadest participation from the whole area
- Addressing the needs of young people - including leisure facilities, a wheeled sports facility, a drop in centre in Edzell and involvement in the community planning process
- Transport links - particularly in rural areas
- Resourcing of partnership work in terms of staffing, finance and time
As well as informing local action, all of the points made at the seminar will be included in a report to be circulated to those who attended or indicated their interest in the seminar. Further details on community planning in Brechin and Area and Angus as a whole can be accessed on the community planning website www.angus.org.uk, or by contacting Jacqui McNeill, one of the community planning officers based with Angus Council (tel. no. 01307 473787, e-mail email@example.com)