Place Standard: Corporate Working in Shetland

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“The tool has allowed departments to work together to avoid consultation fatigue.” Lead officer.

“A powerful tool”  – Local Councillor.

What did we do?

A&DS, together with our Place Standard partners, has been working closely with Shetland Islands council over the past two years, since the formative piloting stage of the Place Standard.   This work has helped ensure that the language and content of the Place Standard works for rural communities and small settlements as well as for larger, better-connected urban contexts. The council has demonstrated the capacity for the tool to be used by some very different types of groups. Shetland were one of the first councils to use the tool at an executive influence workshop in July 2015 and this demonstrated the capacity of the tool to facilitate corporate working by senior officers. More recently the council used the tool to survey all seven Shetland Island localities as a means of better engaging local people in policy-making. This single survey was managed jointly across council departments and has gathered over 900 responses. Results are expected to be published shortly.

What did this achieve?

  • Demonstrated the capacity of the tool to facilitate corporate working by senior officers.
  • The survey gave a voice for communities in strategic policy consultation work whilst avoiding consultation fatigue.
  • The web-based format of the community survey helped involve a dispersed population.
  • The survey provided a more efficient single cross-service consultation methodology.
  • Community inputs – via the survey – are having a strong influence in emerging policy across council services; informing action in: – Transport Planning – Locality Planning – Housing – Economic Development – Education – Local Outcome Improvement Plans and budget setting.
  • The evidence and outputs of the process have been well received by communities at Community Forums, providing the council with a basis for constructive dialogue and the input of valued ideas .

How can this help me?

  • If you are part of a team developing locality planning in your local authority, and seeking to build a more collaborative approach to working across policy areas and with communities, the Place Standard‎can provide a shared framework for conversation and objective setting around placemaking.
  • A&DS and our Place Standard partner organisations are providing a range of support to Local Authorities including introductory and training sessions via Improvement Service.
  • A&DS is providing support to Pathfinder organisations to pilot sector-specific applications of the Place Standard. For more information contact

Place Standard: Arbroath

Working with Place Standard partners A&DS led a workshop at an Angus Managers Forum event.

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