A new direction for community learning and development in Edinburgh

Community Learning Development (CLD) in Edinburgh is set to change as the Council launches a more locally tailored service.

The current economic climate means that the Council, like all local authorities, is striving to deliver efficient and effective services under increasing financial pressure. Changes are needed to the CLD service to achieve the £345,000 of savings required in 2010/11.

Working with local stakeholders, the Council propose to set up at least one learning 'Hub' in each neighbourhood, which will be the main centre for learning. And detailed discussions are being held locally to determine the best location of these centres and ways to deliver these services that best suit the local community.

The Council is committed to providing a high quality CLD service and recognise the important role that many community centres play in their local area, however budgetary constraints mean it will be impossible to maintain all of them.

The cost of running and maintaining Council community centres has been carefully evaluated on current usage, programmes, running costs, physical condition and the proximity of other community facilities.

Based on this, it is proposed to reduce the number of services from 43 to 37 which will save £120,000 in 2010/11.

The CLD 'Hubs' will ensure that working with young people will remain a key priority for CLD. The open access youth work including, Open all Hours will be maintained and developed throughout the city.

The new CLD model will continue to work on key priorities such as supporting children at risk of school exclusion, early intervention and positive destinations.

The close relationship with the voluntary and community sector is set to continue. With the education programme being amalgamated as a single programme and a single automated booking system being set up for adult learners.

There will also be further links with local colleges. For example, the former Westburn Primary School in Sighthill is to be turned into a bustling community learning hub, with the Council working with Stevenson College Edinburgh.

Councillor Marilyne MacLaren, Education Leader, said: "Despite budget pressures, the Council has been working hard to maintain a modern CLD service, one which is fit for the future. We are committed to providing a high quality service throughout the city and there is still work to be done with staff and key stakeholders to determine the best way to deliver the changes. The new community 'Hubs' will reduce costs but the quality of service will not be cut. The new CLD proposals will create a great service for the 21st century and one that is recognised throughout Scotland."

Following consultation with local communities, a report will be submitted to the Education, Children and Families Committee.


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