Involving Local People

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It is this topic that gives both cause for concern as current community involvement is relatively low but also cause for optimism as this means there is vast potential for the expansion of AAP schemes. The LPLP initiative is helping to encourage community groups to maintain their local path networks and whilst there are some notable success stories there are large gaps of activity in the CSGN area.

Legal Structure

In general, most AAP groups ‘piggy back’ on other organisations which have a well established legal structure. Many are therefore not fully independent but sub-groups of wider organisations, most commonly a Community Council or Community Development Trust. Other groups come under the umbrella of national organisations such as Rotary Clubs or BTCV.

Most of the APP groups examined were affiliated to an existing group in order to benefit from insurance cover and to allow them to apply for funding under the main group’s constitution.

It is suspected that issues such as public liability insurance have been a key reason why some people have been reluctant to get involved with APP projects.

Further work is required to give clear information about insurance and to highlight the availability of affiliation with organisations including Access Authorities who can provide insurance cover and other forms of governance advice and support.

Threat as a Catalyst

A number of groups particularly from local communities were established as reaction to a perceived threat such as a housing or other development or access authority and other public sector budget cuts. 

However, as the benefits and the examples of AAP schemes become more widely known, it is hoped and quite likely, that a larger proportion of projects will be initiated proactively rather than reactively.

For example, at Cambusbarron, near Stirling  the local community were concerned about possible housing development destroying a local wood. As part of the Community Council’s response a path group was formed to help highlight the paths through the woods. Since then the group has also started to look after other paths in their local area and have begun to work with neighbouring communities on joint projects.

 

© 2014 Paths for All - Registered Scottish Charity No: SC025535, Company Limited by Guarantee No: 168554 inc. 19 Sept 1996 at Companies House, Edinburgh