Comhairle wins recognition for community engagement

Helen Mackenzie, Head of Procurement at Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, collects the award on behalf of the partners.
Helen Mackenzie, Head of Procurement at Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, collects the award on behalf of the partners.

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, the Outer Hebrides Community Planning Partnership and Hi-Trans have been recognised for the ground breaking work that has been undertaken to promote community engagement at the Government Opportunities (GO) Excellence in Public Procurement Awards Scotland 2016/17.

Using a participatory budgeting approach, the contracts for public transport services in Uist and Barra were opened up for more involvement from the community throughout the procurement process.

Local community councils, youth councils, bus users and members of the community were able to identify and vote on priorities and evaluate proposals received from bus operators so that contracts could be awarded.

Plenty of feedback has been received since the contracts were put in place and in Uist community councils, supported by Uist Council for Voluntary Service, are now taking an active role in engaging with people prior to the summer 2017 timetables being put in place.

Speaking on his visit to Stornoway on Monday 5th December, Local Government and Housing Minister, Kevin Stewart MSP, congratulated the partners on the award: “It is extremely encouraging to see new projects which seek to use Community Choices Budgeting to put people at heart of decision making for their communities.

“These contracts show what can be done using the procurement process as means of giving people real power over the services they receive.

“My congratulations to the Comhairle and the partners on this award”

Leader of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Cllr Angus Campbell, said: “The Comhairle is committed to promoting community engagement and I am pleased that the Comhairle and its partners in the OHCPP and Hi-Trans have been recognised for the excellent work they undertook in involving the community throughout the procurement process for public transport services in Uist.”