Diversity Week 2017: Participation in Planning Report

The Diversity Week Planning in Action workshop was an interactive session run in NE Fife with the following aims:

  • Widening understanding of equality and human rights approaches and how to those approaches to effect change
  • Removing barriers to participation across (such as in planning, policy making, EHR initiatives, democratic representation etc)
  • Creating an opportunity for participants to make direct connection to local and relevant equality projects and/or initiatives

Key points

  • Group learning exercise for practitioners and local community members in using the Place Standard in an interactive session
  • 8 Signups to the Equalities Participation Network

You can also download a PDF of this report by clicking here .

Impact (FCE)

  • Contribution to Strategic Outcome 2: Individuals and groups feel better connected and are able to contribute to public policy and the planning and delivery of local services.
  • Contribution to Strategic Outcome 3: Groups, whether already established or just getting started, have the tools they need to engage with their local community in a positive and inclusive way.
  • Contribution to Strategic Outcome 5: FCE is recognised as a centre of excellence for championing equality, diversity and social justice.


1200 Lunch / Welcome

1230 Introductions

Need not number: Using Equality and Human Rights

1245  Activity 1: Table Discussions – Place Standard: How good is NE Fife?

1334  Guest talk by MSYP

1400  Comfort Break

1415  Group Feedback

1430  Next Steps: Planning for Action

EPN – Get Involved! 

Groupwork format

The session was introduced by Sheena Watson, NE Fife CLD Team Leader, led by Elric Honore, FCE and table discussions led by NE Fife CLD team.

The Place Standard questions were grouped under the following headings in order to run the event with 5 tables lead by a facilitator leading the themed conversations with the specific task of identifying.


Moving around: Can I easily walk and cycle around using good-quality routes?

Public transport: Does public transport meet my needs?

Traffic and parking: Do traffic and parking arrangements allow people to move around safely and meet the community’s needs?


Streets and spaces: Do buildings, streets and public spaces create an attractive place that is easy to get around?

Facilities and amenities: Do facilities and amenities meet my needs?

Natural space: Can I regularly experience good-quality natural space?

Play and recreation: Can I access a range of space with opportunities for play and recreation?


Work and local economy: Is there an active local economy and the opportunity to access good-quality work?

Housing and community: Do the homes in my area support the needs of the community?


Social contact: Is there a range of spaces and opportunities to meet people?

Influence and sense of control: Do I feel able to take part in decisions and help change things for the better?


Identity and belonging: Does this place have a positive identity and do I feel I belong?

Feeling safe: Do I feel safe here?

Care and maintenance: Are buildings and spaces well cared for?

Facilitators were tasked with keeping the discussion focus on the allocated themes; participants use the 1-7 ranking system if that was found useful to get more participation, while the main outcome remained identification of barriers to equality.

Key Discussion points


The consensus on travel in NE Fife was, as expected, that there is a lot of room for improvement (ie. in the range of 1-3). Comments included:


  • There’s buses to many places but if you not living in the centre towns it doesn’t really matter as they are not regular. Also for most jobs you have got to travel far anyway so it’s a question of whether you can afford a car
  • Cycle lanes and spaces are ok in Cupar, there’s pathways too but they are not too well advertised
  • Pathways are not always accessible, and walkers are not safe
  • It gets really busy during the tourist season, there’s no parking left (e.g. Elie, Anstruther), it could do with a park and ride for the tourist places



  • Trains are good for in and about Cupar area but all across NE Fife transport is really bad
  • Buses links are terrible and costs are high
  • Community Transport could help loads there is not much available




The consensus about access is that in and around Cupar this  (ie. in the range of 1-3). Comments included:

  • There are loads of social groups within Cupar but there seems to be an age category missing, as most things are aimed at very young pre-teens and the older generations
  • Seems to be a reasonable number of opportunities for those with differing abilities. Kilmaron School has a lot of ties to the rest of the community.



  • There’s a lot in Cupar but hidden developments restrict access. As soon as young people go there, people immediately assume the worst
  • Cupar in bloom is very active within the community, this makes the street a lot more attractive + colourful
  • Natural spaces are getting affected by noise from surrounding housing development (Torvit)



  • Places such as Cupar are fairly compact are easy to move around
  • Most NE Fife villages are pleasant
  • Geography can be a barrier, there is access and roads etc but also large distances to cover and it can be costly




  • Sports centre is good in Cupar
  • Duffus Park is good too although there is a lot of negative connotations about teenagers
  • Loads for the really young and also for adults, but there are less facilities for teenagers and none for disabled children and their families
  • Having a meeting space for young people, like the youth café plays a good role, rest is paid structures like rugby etc.
  • It’s very segmented, there is nowhere all ages an meet together. We could really do with more sheltered spaces in the community to meet.


    Young people describe new housing provision as being accessible and good for frail / older people or people with mobility requirements but there are several places that are not meeting the needs of young people, or their family unit:



  • Social housing provision does not cater for larger families – we split our family in 2 houses, so our grandparents are living further from us and when they need help we’re not around
  • I’m finding it hard being at home, I’m 13 and sharing a room – It’s not right and when I’m trying to study I can’t concentrate, I just feel the houses are too small and they don’t think about families with more than 2 children


  • Active local economy – that depends on where you live, e.g. in Cupar large employers are the one that take all the profits which doesn’t help the local economy.
  • Small businesses may not either
  • Care Workers are not well treated – there is a lot of demand on them for which they are not paid, like for instance the prices of travel or being expected to pick up shopping on their way in work with a service user



    Young people describe new housing provision as being accessible and good for frail / older people or people with mobility requirements but there are several places that are not meeting the needs of young people, or their family unit:


  • Places like the sport centre & YMCA offer opportunities to meet others to in a group format, but this can be daunting to many, and segregates the ages.
  • There should be more cafes open in the evening for people to mix
  • It’s difficult to meet at all – in the evening there’s no places open at all and that’s the only time after schoolwork etc we could be doing something.
  • Some places like Guardsbridge you just meet at each other’s house, you don’t think about meeting further out



  • You’d think you should be able to take part but often it’s just hard to know who to approach or how to change things
  • It’s good to hear about the things that [FCE] helped change or set up like Fife Pride. I’m interested in what the MSYPs can also do for young people at school in Fife
  • I got involved with the local community council, I’m the youngest person there but it took a long time to get accepted even to go attend and longer to become a recognised (full) member. 
  1. SAFETY 


  • NE Fife varies; some places (Newburgh) are inclusive and now have a town attitude rather than rural – it draws people in.
  • Others (Gateside) are more exclusive, if I wasn’t white Scottish it might be hard to integrate
  • There a lot of people moving to a view not a community
  • Lack of belonging – it’s that people have stopped having fun together, once you have you start to care for each other
  • There’s a difference between identity and stereotypes. Locals sometimes inadvertently set barriers to incomers
  • Life is changing too, it’s busier – more people are working long hours or commuting, and not only that they don’t want to participate
  • People move away for work or uni – is there anything to draw people back?
  • What’s really required is more community ownership to fill the void


  • Much safer in Cupar than in the cities, there’s a low crime rate
  • In other places, you couldn’t stay outside till late, especially as a young person
  • Traffic can be a problem, there sometimes speeding cars
  • We can feel quite connected online, it’s safe and quite beneficial but being able to knowing people



  • It varies a lot in NE Fife, St Andrews is its own world
  • A lot public spaces are now sustained by the community
  • Tayport is the best kept area but the people who made it thus are getting old, they started the journey a long time back. As generations move on what generations are there to replace them?
  • Community ownership and control is positive but how long can small (voluntary) groups continue those tasks that are needed
  • There’s opportunities for people stepping in and filling the void – mainly in school and for those retiring.




We welcomed newly elected MSYP Kit McCarthy who gave us an overview of his role as Member of the Scottish Youth Parliament, as well as anecdotes of learning to represent young people’s views. The full audio recording available at the link below:


Agreed Next steps:

  • FCE Diversity Week Workshop Report to Fife Council (this report)
  • Follow up Community Café “Coffee and Chat” EPN event – Newburgh
  • Support from FCE to MSYPs for the creation of a Fife-wide youth council
  • Follow up event at Cupar Youth Café – youth forum?

Participants and evaluation

19 people attended this workshop representing the following organisations.

  • Scottish Youth Parliament
  • Fife Council CLD
  • Fife Centre for Equalities
  • Cupar Youth Café
  • B.E
  • Dundee Community Council
  • Bell Baxter High School

All participants (100%) found the event helpful, with the most useful aspects being “having a chance to think about my local area”; “range of group discussions”, “being able to voice my opinions” and “understanding more about my community”. Suggestions to make the event better included having “more time for unstructured discussion”, “the event held at different locations in Fife”, and “bring more participants focused around 1 specific theme”.


Comments / quotes:

“Is it happening the same time next week?”

“Everything was useful, extremely interesting and informative session – I liked getting stuck in the discussions but needed more time, a longer session”

“Was really good to be here and see how to use the Place Standard with groups, I liked the way it’s more interactive”

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