Plans to tackle deprivation hotspots
Report lists eighteen communities
The people of Rutherglen are more likely to live in areas suffering from severe deprivation than any other community in South Lanarkshire.
Out of 40 datazones identified by the Scottish Government, 16 in the Burgh are considered in the worst 20 per cent across the country.
The 40 per cent figures compares with Larkhall, which is the next worst, where 38 per cent of 24 datazones are in the bottom 20.
A fifth of Cambuslang datazones are in the bottom 20.
In comparison, the whole of East Kilbride has just five datazones out of 109 in the worst 20.
The figures were revealed at South Lanarkshire Council’s last executive committee when councillors discussed the creation of a local outcome improvement plan and associated neighbourhood plan.
In Rutherglen and Cambuslang, 18 communities suffering social and economic problems were earmarked to become neighbourhood planning areas.
They were: Blairbeth, Cathkin, Fernhill, Spittal, Springhall, Burnhill, Clydesmill, Gallowflat, central Rutherglen, Cairns, Halfway, Lightburn, Vicarland, Westburn, central Cambuslang, Clydesbridge, Eastfield and Whitlawburn.
Plans will now be created for each area setting out priorities for improving local outcomes.
An 80-page report on how to take the plan forward was prepared for councillors.
But Rutherglen South councillor Robert Brown claimed the report “largely missed the point.”
He said: “Everyone agrees that there are significant areas of multiple deprivation, not least in the Rutherglen and Cambuslang areas, which need extra action to give people more opportunities, to boost employment and family incomes and to tackle the many aspects of multiple deprivation.
“The problem was that the council have been told by the Scottish Government to produce locality plans on far too tight a timetable and without any review of how it all fits with existing arrangements.
“My personal view is that the Rutherglen and Cambuslang area committee and the other area committees should be given more powers, the successful neighbourhood management boards in areas like Cathkin and Fernhill should be built on, and other arrangements like the housing forums should be reviewed to ensure a wider public involvement and a closer link with the area committee.”
Councillor Maureen Chalmers, deputy council leader and chair of the South Lanarkshire Community Planning Partnership, said: “I think there is a growing consensus that if we are going to tackle poverty and disadvantage then we need a different and better approach, and this is reflected in our commitment not just to construct and deliver targeted neighbourhood plans, but to do so with a full commitment to community engagement.
“That is why our priority going forward will be to ensure that our neighbourhood plans are developed jointly with communities to reflect local needs and local people’s aspirations for their areas.
“A good deal of work has already been undertaken to identify the main challenges in areas like health, poverty, unemployment and community safety. This will allow a full conversation with local communities so their views, experiences and aspirations shape the plans as they are further developed.”
Residents can go to http://tinyurl. com/SLCLOIP to have their say on the local improvement plan.