What is Community Engagement?
The National Standards define community engagement as:
'Developing and sustaining a working relationship between one or more public body and one or more community group, to help them both to understand and act on the needs or issues that the community experiences'.
It is now accepted that public services that involve their users are likely to be of higher quality and more relevant to the communities they serve.
The Scottish Government has built the principle of community engagement into policy and guidance to public services. This is most notable for Community Planning through which the Local Government Scotland Act requires all public services to work together. The guidance on the act states:
'Community Planning is essentially a process to secure greater engagement from communities in the planning and delivery of services'.