Building strong communities

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Published Date: 

21 Sep 2017 - 19:29

BUILDING new homes, helping people claim record levels of benefits and supporting more than 4,000 adult learners are among the successes of Argyll and Bute Council’s Community and Culture Service this year.

An annual performance review of the service for 2016-17 highlights a host of achievements that have improved the lives of Argyll and Bute residents.

They include:

Providing 154 affordable new homes – 40 per cent above the target of 110 and an investment of £22.7 million

Bringing 48 empty homes in the private sector back into use – the target was 25

Helping residents claim record levels of £3.4 million in benefits

Awarded ‘Empty Homes Outstanding Project’ by charity Shelter for renewing and bringing back into use tenements in Campbeltown

Providing more than 1,130 people with access to adult learning help to improve employability

Increasing the number of adults – nearly 3,000 – access learning and literacy opportunities, an increase of 34 per cent on the previous year

Helping 120 organisations access third sector funding totalling nearly £150,000

Providing more than 1330 support sessions to community and third sector groups

Customer Service Excellence Standard award to culture and libraries for good customer care

Securing £200,000 funding from Creative Scotland to support culture in Argyll and Bute, including improving access to cultural activities

Introducing direct debit payments for swimming lessons, allowing families to spread the cost across the year and reducing costs to customers and the Council

Working with the NHS to develop exercise services for frail elderly people in the community

Securing grants of nearly £850,000 to help carry out adaptations in nearly 200 private sector homes

Securing grants of over £1 million to improve 214 homes with nearly 300 individual energy saving methods

A total of 81 per cent of homeless cases closed successfully.

Policy Lead for Communities and Housing, Councillor Robin Currie, said: “These are significant successes that have made a real difference to the lives of thousands of people in Argyll and Bute.

“Like all Councils in this time of financial constraint we have faced choices and challenges but it is clear from this year of achievement that we are continuing to provide the support our communities need, from helping people back to work to providing affordable homes.

“These improvements are being made across Argyll and Bute and we are working closely with communities and our partners in other organisations to make sure that, from supporting and celebrating culture to finding homes for people, this is a fantastic, welcoming place in which to live and work.”