We Asked, You Said, We Did

Below are some of the issues we have recently consulted on and their outcomes.

We Asked

Clackmannanshire Council is proposing to change the primary schools Admissions Policy so that pupils that can demonstrate affiliation to the RC church by means of baptismal certificate, would remain entitled to enrol at their catchment denominational school in these circumstances, but all other pupils would be required to submit a placing request.

It is proposed that the revised policy would take effect from school session 2019/20 but that the revised policy would not apply to children currently attending either of the two Roman Catholic Primary schools.

 

You Said

21 responses were received to the online consultation. 14 of these agreed with the change and 7 disagreed. A response to those who disagreed is contained in the report.

At public meetings, Church representatives and parents had no objections. The Education Scotland report detailed no objections.

 

We Did

Based on the feedback from the consultation process and the conclusions of the Education Scotland report, a report will be made to the meeting of the People Committee of Clackmannanshire Council on 14 March 2019 recommending acceptance of the change in the Admissions policy.

We Asked

We asked what you thought about our draft British Sign Language Plan.

We promoted engagement on the plan through our website, the local newspaper and social media. We also used BSL videos and shared our messages with local and national partner organisations, including community councils, Clackmannanshire Third Sector Interface, the Sensory Centre in Camelon and the British Deaf Association.

We gathered views in different ways:

• Public meetings in the Speirs Centre, Alloa during August and September 2018

• An online survey

• Comments by email

You Said

You told us:

There is a general lack of understanding around deafness and BSL. It is often assumed, incorrectly, that D/deaf people should be able to easily communicate through written English

• It can be very difficult for a D/deaf BSL to find the information they need on websites because it is usually only presented in English

• Customer service staff in many organisations do not know what to do when a D/deaf person makes an enquiry

• Families with D/deaf children said that courses in BSL were expensive and often involved long journey times to take part

• There is a lot of misunderstanding about the value of BSL to D/deaf people. In particular, there is often an assumption that cochlear implants negate the need for a visual language, but it is important distinguish what is essentially a medical intervention from the social and cultural benefits offered by BSL

• There is significant local demand for learning at least some BSL

We Did

We made some changes to the draft BSL plan. It was approved by Clackmannanshire Council on 25th October 2018.

The plan is available in BSL at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYsYiplr_vHP0M3XvnJ7w1w/videos?view=0&shelf_id=1&sort=dd

We Asked

We asked for your views on a proposal to co-locate Alloa’s police operations within Clackmannanshire Council’s head quarters in Kilncraigs, Alloa.

You Said

Six key themes have emerged from your feedback:  Service Delivery; Building and Facilities; Parking, Roads and Vehicles; Reception and Risk; Organisational Culture; and Finance and Savings.  The issues of concern to most of the 387 respondents was parking, whilst many felt the proposal would benefit citizens of Clackmannanshire through more opportunities for collaborative working between Police and Clackmannanshire Council. 

We Did

Six short-life task groups have been set up to review each of the feedback themes.  Actions will be identified to address your key concerns and build the basis for business case options.

We Asked

We asked for final comments on the content and wording of a proposed new Scheme to ensure it is clear and fit for purpose.

You Said

The provision for more frequent elections would be a distraction from core community council business, but that community councils should still be able to replace members who leave and recruit to fill vacancies within the election cycle as long as safeguards were in place to ensure democratic legitimacy.

We Did

We re-worded some of the text for clarity without changing the principle. 

We removed the provision for top-up elections and amended the provision for elections which community councils can request when their numbers drop. 

We added a clause to the provision for co-option to require community councils to  publicise in advance the procedure for co-option as well as the intention to co-opt to replace a member who has left.

We Asked

We asked for your views on the proposed Scheme and in particular what we felt were the key aspects of

  • how people become community councillors
  • how community councils involve residents
  • how to maintain standards of representation

You Said

You said

  • community councils should be able to replace quickly members who leave
  • community councils should be able to involve residents in a volunteer capacity
  • there should be a complaints procedure for community councils and a way of dealing with a community council which is not functioning to the standards expected of a community council

 

We Did

We have proposed

  • the addition of a provision for co-opting people to fill vacancies arising in between elections
  • no major changes regarding how community councils involve residents, but amendments to the constitution to make it clear that involving people as volunteers is allowed
  • research to look at a complaints procedure that can be adopted by all of Clackmannanshire's community councils, but not as a provision in the Scheme at this stage.

We Asked

The consultation ran from 27th November 2017 to 2nd February 2018. We put forward a range of options for savings and feedback was received via a variety of methods.

You Said

The budget consultation attracted a mixed reaction from the public. We received 1250 responses to the online survey.

Seven public meetings were held, we received letters and written representations, held meetings with parent council and groups impacted by the proposals.

Three petitions were also received. 

We Did

Councillors met on 8th March 2018 and agreed the budget for 2018/19. All respondents’ views were taken into account. Savings of £7.376 million were approved.
 
Some of the savings relate to organisational redesign and associated management restructure within the Council, including a 40% reduction in management posts. Staffing reductions will be made through voluntary means. 
 
In addition there will be savings of £1.666 million made through management efficiencies. A number of CAPs and halls are to be offered to local communities with a view to achieving Community Asset Transfers in line with the Community Empowerment Act. It was also agreed that Council Tax would rise by 3%.
 
Details of all budget decisions made can be accessed on our website:

We Asked

Following the first stage when you gave us your views on boundaries and membershop, we asked for your comments on other content of the Scheme for the EStablishment of Community Councils.

We gave you two options for responding:

  1. to make any comments or suggestions for the content of the Scheme
  2. to focus on what we feel are the key aspects

You Said

You commented mostly on the key aspects.  The feedback can be found at that consultation.

We Did

We took the comments and our analysis of them to the December meeting of Clackmannanshire Council and asked for permission to take a draft Scheme to the third stage of consultation

We Asked

We asked for your views on how people choose the community councillors who are going to represent them and on election methods.

We asked for your views on community councils replacing members who resign within a term of office.

We wanted your ideas for how community councils can better involve residents in the matters which concern their community.

We asked for your views on a Complaints Procedure for community councils with enforceable sanctions and we asked you to tell us what you think about the guiding principles for community councils.

You Said

Responses showed that people are happy that community councillors should be elected and are happy with the current method of election.  There was very little suport for allowing community councils to conduct elections themselves but there was support for the introduction of top-up elections.

Respondents put forward arguments for reinstating the provision for co-option as a means of filling vacancies quickly so as to maintain numbers and productivity.

There were various suggestions for meeting etiquette to improve involvement.

There was general support for a Complaints Procedure and for the current guiding principles.

We Did

We will continue with Council-run regular elections for community councils and the Council will organise top-up elections.  We will reinstate the provision for co-opting members to fill places left vacant by a community councillor who was elected at a regular, interim or top-up election.

We were convinced by responses arguing that involving residents is already in the Scheme so we don't propose to add any provisions to the Scheme to shape meeting format.

We will examine options for an enforceable Complaints Procedure but as it will require careful dialogue and time, will not add it to the Scheme at this stage.

We will consider respondents' suggestions for guiding principles.

We Asked

We asked you to suggest content for a new Scheme, which includes boundaries, membership, elections, meetings, exchange of information with Clackmannanshire Council and resourcing.

 

You Said

Responses showed that people are happy that community councillors should be elected and are happy with the current method of election.  There was very little suport for allowing community councils to conduct elections themselves but there was support for the introduction of top-up elections.

Respondents put forward arguments for reinstating the provision for co-option as a means of filling vacancies quickly so as to maintain numbers and productivity.

There were various suggestions for meeting etiquette to improve involvement.

There was general support for a Complaints Procedure and for the current guiding principles.

We Did

We will continue with Council-run regular elections for community councils and the Council will organise top-up elections.  We will reinstate the provision for co-opting members to fill places left vacant by a community councillor who was elected at a regular, interim or top-up election.

We were convinced by responses arguing that involving residents is already in the Scheme so we don't propose to add any provisions to the Scheme to shape meeting format.

We will examine options for an enforceable Complaints Procedure but as it will require careful dialogue and time, will not add it to the Scheme at this stage.

We will consider respondents' suggestions for guiding principles.

We Asked

This questionnaire asked about attitudes to community groups to help inform our review of community council governance.

You Said

You gave us a range of views and attitudes, showing that respondents are interested in and see the value of collective community activity, despite the work and, sometimes, the disappointment involved.

We Did

We have summarised the results and key comments, and added our own commentary where relevant to community councils and combined them into one report which you can download from this site under 'Results'.

We Asked

What are your views on the Community Justice Improvement Plan for Clackmannanshire?

You Said

  • More clarity needed in links with education
  • Insufficient evidence of measuring improvement
  • Emphasise that the strategy will concurrently reduce health inequalities that persist amongst offenders

We Did

  • Simplified the detail in order to provide more flexibility
  • Commit to working Community Justice Scotland to measure outcomes and use the Community Justice Outcome Improvement Framework
  • Strenghten the narrative of healthcare inequalities

We Asked

We asked you to tell us about your voting experience whether at the polling station or using our postal vote service.

You Said

The majority of respondents were happy with their experience. 

92% felt that the building used was suitable as a polling place and 90% rated the customer service provided by the polling staff as good or very good. 

Those respondents that are postal voters like the convenience and find it easy to do.

We Did

Where specific issues with a building were highlighted, we have noted this and will use this feedback when we have the next formal review of polling places in 2018/19. 

Where we received comments about concerns that the layout of polling stations were not affording enough privacy for voters to cast their vote, we shall ensure that this area is reinforced at our poll staff training sessions. 

We Asked

We asked you to tell us about your voting experience whether at the polling station or using our postal vote service.

You Said

The majority of respondents were happy with their experience. 

90% felt that the building used was suitable as a polling place and 90% rated the customer service provided by the polling staff as good or very good. 

Those respondents that are postal voters like the convenience and find it easy to do.

We Did

Where specific issues with a building were highlighted, we have noted this and will use this feedback when we have the next formal review of polling places in 2018/19. 

Where we received comments about concerns that the layout of polling stations were not affording enough privacy for voters to cast their vote, we shall ensure that this area is reinforced at our poll staff training sessions.

We Asked

We asked ASD people, families, carers and professionals to share their experience on the services received and whether the local goals and objectives were appropriate to meet the challenges experienced.

You Said

Seventy people answered the online questionnaire and 100 took part to the consultation events. Over 80% of the respondents strongly agreed with 6 local goals and Key objectives.

We Did

We collated all answers received and used these to inform the development and implementation of the strategy.

We Asked

That you look over the draft Joint Tenant Participation Strategy 2014-2017 and action plan to check that you were happy with the content of the document or to provide us with any suggested amendments or changes to be incorporated before the final document was completed.

You Said

That you were happy with the content in the draft Joint Tenant Participation Strategy 2014-2017 including the action plan outcomes although you wanted to see more involvement from tenants in working groups and decision making processes.

We Did

Feedback the responses received following the consultation period to the working group, asked group for any final comments before seeking final approval of the document including offering possible design options of the front cover for the final TP strategy document. Document will now be designed and circulated to the working group before final document is available on clacksweb or hardcopy if requested

We Asked

Over a period of 10 weeks we asked the public about their views on the proposed budget savings for 2014/15. We put forward almost 30 ideas how to generate savings, followed by a number of detailed savings options proposed by Council officers. Overall, nearly half a thousand responses were submitted from individuals as well as various groups and organisations.

You Said

The budget consultation attracted a mixed reaction from the public. While some proposals were generally welcomed, others faced harsh criticism and disapproval. For example, 63% of respondents supported the proposal to stop funding to voluntary organisations, who cannot demonstrate alignment with local priorities. On the other hand 46% of respondents were against the proposal to charge for car parking in Alloa Town Centre. Following publication of detailed officer savings proposals, a number of people expressed their disapproval regarding proposals to reduce the number of learning assistants, an increase in music tuition fees and changes to school transport between Tillicoultry and Alva.

We Did

When setting the Budget for 2014/15, we took all respondents’ views into account and we have made a number of budget saving decisions including (but are not exhaustive to): - Music tuition fees will remain at 2013 prices, - Parking charges will not be introduced, - School transport will continue to be provided between Tillicoultry and Alva, - No increase in council tax as it would mean a loss of around £1m-worth of government grants, - Eight learning assistant posts will be removed and remaining staff will be allocated according to areas of priority need, - Following a review of voluntary organisations, we will cease funding a number of organisations in October. Details of all budget decisions made can be accessed via the link below: http://www.clacksweb.org.uk/council/meetings/agenda/562/