Published 19 May 2021

West Dunbartonshire Council has secured two project workers to help drive forward community empowerment in the area.

The appointments  reaffirm the Council’s commitment to delivering real change in communities by helping  citizens take control and make decisions for their area to bring  lasting improvements.

The Community Empowerment Team  will also help and encourage residents of all ages to shape and influence local services and plans for the future of their neighbourhoods, ensuring community ownership and pride.

The permanent appointments will deliver on the Council’s ambitions to encourage residents to participate and engage in community life which can help to address health inequalities; social isolation and loneliness; digital exclusion; anti-social behaviour; low social capital; drug and substance misuse; and education and wealth inequalities.

The Community Empowerment Team’s main focus is supporting improved community pride; individual and community resilience; increased levels of local democracy; improved health and mental health; safer communities; community/participatory budgeting; responsible community asset transfer; community wealth building and volunteering opportunities.

Councillor Ian Dickson, Convener of Corporate Services, said: “Empowering our communities has never been so important as now as we look to recover from the Covid pandemic. It is vital that our citizens are at the forefront of that recovery, helping to shape their future and that of their neighbourhoods. The pandemic has brought out the very best in our communities, so many people stepped forward to help and we need to build on that. These positions will help drive forward  this important piece of work.  This is an opportunity for West Dunbartonshire’s communities and citizens, the Council and Community Planning partners to work together to transform West Dunbartonshire’s neighbourhoods – by empowering communities.”

Councillor Iain McLaren, said: “We want residents to be proud of their community and this is an important part of this strategy which  encourages residents to take ownership of their areas. We also  want to work with  residents to increase confidence, reduce loneliness and improve people’s health and wellbeing. The additional two members of staff will help drive that agenda in bringing opportunities to help citizens to feel the benefits of being more active in community life and make sure public services reflect the needs of the residents.”