What is a Community Strategy?
The Local Government Act 2000 places a duty on unitary authorities in Wales to prepare community strategies to promote the economic, social and environmental well-being of their areas and contribute to the achievement of sustainable development.
Community Strategies will provide the strategic framework for all the other plans and strategies relating to unitary council areas. This will improve integration between public, private and voluntary sector activities, and help to avoid duplication.
Community Strategy processes for the two unitary authority areas covering the Snowdonia National Park (Gwynedd and Conwy) are now well established.
What is the aim of a Community Strategy?
The Community Strategy process brings together a wide range of interested and representative elements of life in a community. It aims to agree priority actions to:
- enhance the quality of life for local people
- contribute to the sustainable development of the area
- provide a mechanism for debate locally about needs, opportunities and aspirations
- provide a focus for joint working, and
- help councils develop corporate policies
What are the key elements in the process?
- Establishing partnership arrangements
- Establishing a supporting framework to do the work
- Establishing community ownership and fair and effective engagement in the work
- Allocating adequate resources to do the job
- Developing effective communication channels to keep people informed about the process
How will the process develop?
The preparation and review of community strategies will be a continuous process. An Action Plan will be produced each year detailing the work priorities for the following twelve months. Community Strategy Partnerships will periodically review the community strategies, initially every three or four years, to reflect changing needs and circumstances.
The National Park Authority is recognised as a critical stakeholder organisation in the Gwynedd and Conwy Community Strategy processes, and will continue to be represented on Steering Boards and Partnership groupings.