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The Caithness Partnership
The Caithness Partnership is the organisation responsible for promoting and leading community planning activity in Caithness. The Partnership is made up of people who work in the public, private and voluntary sector in the county.
An Act of the Scottish Parliament passed in 2003 dictates that by law local authorities must implement community planning at a local level. The 2003 Act imposes a duty on other government bodies (such as the local enterprise company, Scottish Natural Heritage and Scottish Water) to assist the local authority to implement community planning. Local authorities, such as the Highland Council, must also encourage community organisations and individuals to become involved in the community planning process.
In Caithness, the Partnership was set up to bring government and community interests together for the wider Caithness benefit and to encourage partnership working, almost exactly as the 2003 Act describes a community planning partnership. The Partnership is now officially recognised as the community planning partnership for Caithness and brings together representation from business interests, community representation, CASE, Highland Council, Northern Constabulary, SEPA and Scottish Water. A full list of members is listed below.
Community Planning is about public, private and voluntary agencies working more effectively together and, in doing so, setting the communities who use the services firmly into the decision-making processes, by genuinely engaging with them. The aim is to improve the way public services are delivered.
In practice that means that when the public agencies are making plans for delivering services in the area there will be some way of ensuring that the community is consulted about their needs, and that these needs are taken into account. Working more closely together should help avoid duplication and make best use of resources.
There are many examples of community planning actions in Caithness and numerous mini partnerships have been set up to deal with specific issues, for example the Community Safety Action Team, which brings together community representatives, relevant agency staff from the Police, Fire Brigade and Highland Council to discuss community safety issues such as vandalism, road safety and home safety and take joint action or deliver projects which will improve community safety in Caithness.
Membership of the Caithness Partnership
· Association of Caithness Community Councils
· Caithness Business Club
· Caithness & Sutherland Chamber of Commerce
· Caithness & Sutherland Enterprise
· Caithness Voluntary Group
· NHS Highland
· Highlands & Islands Federation of Small Businesses
· Highlands & Islands Fire Brigade
· National Farmers Union of Scotland
· North Highland College
· Northern Constabulary
· Scottish Environmental Protection Agency
· Scottish Water
· Scottish Natural Heritage
· Scrabster Harbour Trust
· The Highland Council
· Thurso & Wick Trade Union Council
· Wick Harbour Authority