The importance of Area Partnerships for communities like Haddington

Tuesday, October 17th, 2017

We are delighted to share an article from guest writer and recently re-elected Chair of the Haddington & Lammermuir Area Partnership (HALAP), Craig McLachlan, who explains why Area Partnerships are key to ensuring that communities like Haddington continue to thrive, by allowing people to get involved with decision-making at a local level.
Read on to find out more about HALAP and how you can get involved.

What are Area Partnerships?
Area Partnerships are the local face of community planning and are a way for local people to influence service planning and delivery in their area. The main focus for Area Partnerships however is to address inequalities and poverties and to do this we involve people from the wider community to develop a local Area Plan based on local priorities and takes these priorities forward.
In 2014, East Lothian Council worked with communities to establish 6 Area Partnerships across East Lothian.

Who is HALAP?
HALAP encompasses the communities of Athelstaneford, Bolton, East & West Saltoun, Garvald, Gifford, Haddington, Humbie and Morham and currently has 22 members. Membership is drawn from across this area and is made up of East Lothian Councillors, Community Councillors, Tenants and Residents Associations reps as well as Pupil and Parent Council representatives from the cluster schools and reps from other local Community Groups including the Haddington Community Development Trust (HCDT). I have recently been re-elected as Chair of the Area Partnership and Frances Wright, Chair of the HCDT has been newly elected as Vice Chair. We will both serve a two-year term of office and will take the lead role in directing the work for the Area Partnership. We meet approximately 6 times a year and all meetings are open to the public.

What does HALAP do?
Our Area Partnership currently has a devolved budget of £300,000 in this current financial year (2017/18) to be spent on delivering the priorities identified in the Area Plan. Some of this budget is however ring-fenced to be spent on specific matters only, such as £100,000 on raising education attainment and achievement.

Listed below are just some of the projects that we have supported over the past year:

  • Knox Academy study support – £3,600
  • “Buddy Bear” anti-bullying programme in all primary schools – £14,750
  • Upgrade of 1st section of footpath from Gifford to Sandyford Burn – £25,000
  • HETRA Mental Health peer support group – £1,700
  • Garvald Youth Shelter – £6,895
  • Haddington “Good Memories” Dementia group – £300

How can you get involved?
On the 2nd November 2017 our Area Partnership will be holding its annual public meeting to speak about our recent achievements. This year our meeting is themed around improving Health & Wellbeing in our Area and we are encouraging any groups with an interest in this subject to attend and network with others. The event will be held at the new Community Hospital in Haddington and there will also be a chance to hear the latest news about the hospital project. This meeting is open to the public and more details can be found at . For more information on the work of the Area Partnership, or details of our meetings, please go to

I hope to see you there!

Craig McLachlan

Chair – Haddington & Lammermuir Area Partnership