Conference, 7 March
Places are still available for our conference “Making Community Empowerment a Reality: A shared commitment to community development” from 10.30 a.m. (registration from 10) – 3.30 p.m., Tuesday, 7 March, 2017 at St Paul’s and St George’s Church, 46, York Place, Edinburgh EH1 3RH.
You will have the opportunity to hear from and discuss with people delivering and supporting community action in a wide range of settings, as well as from Martin Cawley, Chief Executive of Big Lottery Fund Scotland. There will also be an opportunity to start your own discussions.
Sustainable Development Goals and community development
At the event we held with international partners last autumn, Kirstin Paaby from Norway told us about the ‘Nordic Education for Sustainability’ programme. A newly published booklet about the programme is now available (in English).
POLICY AND PRACTICE DEVELOPMENTS
Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act
1. The asset transfer provisions of the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 came into force 23 January 2017. From this date a properly constituted community group has the right to apply to a public body to request a transfer of any land or buildings that it owns.
All the guidance, model forms and other useful stuff is available on the Scottish Government website. This includes a new summary guide in simple language. The website will continue to be developed over coming weeks, in particular with model governing documents for community transfer bodies.
2. The Scottish Government has published a series of documents related to the community planning part of the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act.
The finalised Guidance adds more detail to the statutory provisions. Part 1 of this guidance sets out a strategic overview of what effective community planning should achieve. It explains the purpose of community planning and what difference effective community planning can and should make to improving outcomes and reducing inequality. Part 2 provides additional supporting detail about what the principles of effective community planning include. It also contains specific guidance to assist CPPs develop both their Local Outcome Improvement Plan and locality plan(s). CPPs will be expected to publish these plans by 1 October 2017.
Along with this the government has published a locality planning regulation, which describes the localities into which CPPs must divide local authority areas for the purpose of carrying out locality planning.
Local Democracy Bill
The Development Trusts Association Scotland (DTAS) reports that its Board recently discussed the SNP manifesto commitment to ‘introduce a Bill that will decentralise local authority functions, budgets and democratic oversight to local communities’; and that it then met with the Bill Team in Scottish Government to contribute some initial ideas into the development of the draft Bill. It plans to meet government again in February to discuss the emerging ideas for the Bill. DTAS asks its members for thoughts on which local authority functions or budgets they would like to see devolved, so that it can feed these suggestions into the Bill development process.
Consultation on the Future of the Scottish Planning System
The Scottish Government has set out 20 proposals for changing the planning system and launched a public consultation that runs until 4 April 2017, as a step towards a new planning bill, to be brought forward this year. This follows an independent review of the existing system.
A brief article from SURF provides a useful overview of the key proposals in the consultation. The report proposes a new right for community bodies to create their own ‘place plans’ which would set out what changes they will help deliver, based on wider community consultation.
It is also proposed that during the development plan preparation process Local Authorities should be legally required to consult community councils as well as use engagement methods more likely to involve children and young people. Research is also being undertaken to inform action on including other ‘hard to reach’ groups in planning.
Other changes include zoning more land for housing, promoting self-build and removing the need to apply for planning permission for more types of development.
Land rights and responsibilities statement
The Scottish Government’s proposed ‘land rights and responsibilities statement’ is out for consultation until10th March. The statement defines six important principles – the first of which says “….ownership, management and use of land should contribute to the collective benefit of the people of Scotland”.
Scottish Government evaluation of Voluntary Action Scotland
An independent evaluation of Voluntary Action Scotland, the national network supporting Third Sector Interfaces (TSIs), by APS Group Scotland (led by Blake Stevenson) has been published by the Scottish Government. The evaluation highlights weaknesses in the effectiveness of VAS, but concludes that the TSI network requires an intermediary body and that the Scottish Government should continue to support VAS, with new partnership agreements and the continuation of recent changes in its governance.
Responses to the report have been widely differing. A story in Third Force News (TFN) (published by SCVO, who used to perform similar functions to VAS) describes it as ‘damning’ and its headline reports that an ‘official report’ ‘slams’ VAS. In response Senscot has described that TFN story as “a completely unbalanced piece – full of unattributed accusations” and says the report “is much more balanced”. (TFN has since amended the story to make it clear the report was commissioned, not written, by the Scottish Government).
Acting VAS chief executive Allan Johnstone said the recommendations would “form part of the discussions in taking VAS forward in 2017 … the report doesn’t acknowledge a lot of the work we’ve done in terms of the organisational side. In the last 18 months we’ve done a lot of work … We have updated finance, staffing, governance”. A Scottish Government spokesman told TFN “Over the next six months, we will hold a number of stakeholder events and discussions to examine how our local third sector infrastructure is organised and how it can be improved. Following this wider engagement, we will draw together recommendations for improvement to be implemented from 2018/19 onwards.”
Draft Climate Change Plan
The Scottish Government’s draft Climate Change Plan has been published. The Parliament’s Local Government and Communities Committee, in collaboration with three other Committees, has launched a call for views on the draft Plan by Friday 10 February 2017. The Committee is focusing its scrutiny on local government, planning and housing and so would welcome views from interested parties on those issues contained within the draft Plan.
Future Governance of the CLD Standards Council: Consultation
The CLD Standards Council (Scotland) was established in 2008 by Scottish Government Ministers as the professional body with responsibility for setting standards in Community Learning and Development. It was assigned to Education Scotland as host agency, but is recognised separately on the basis that it should be one step removed from government. From the beginning, it has been the ambition of those involved to find a practical means of organisational development. The Standards Council has now agreed on a proposal for the way forward. The key features of this are:
- The CLD Standards Council registering as a company limited by guarantee
- A Board of Directors, with the majority elected by and from the registered members
- The Board of Directors taking responsibility for the direction of the organisation within the remit agreed with the Scottish Government.
- The Standards Council, including the staff team of civil servants, to continue to work closely with Education Scotland and the wider Scottish Government.
Grameen in the UK provides micro-credit loans of up to £1,000 to kick-start small firms or help existing companies develop and grow. Based in Glasgow, the organisation has now secured additional investment of £250,000 from Social Investment Scotland to provide micro-finance loans to community initiatives. Grameen in the UK is part of the Grameen Foundation, a worldwide network of social development lenders founded by Nobel Peace Prize winner Professor Muhammad Yunus.
Aspiring Communities Fund
The Scottish Government, supported by the European Social Fund (ESF), has launched a £18.9 million Aspiring Communities Fund to support the most disadvantaged communities across Scotland to tackle poverty and inequality. This challenge fund is expected to run from January 2017 to December 2018. The aim of this funding is to strengthen communities, increase levels of economic activity, stimulate inclusive growth, and support local service provision and inclusion by:
- Enabling communities to design and establish new or enhanced services addressing poverty and inequalities;
- Supporting new staff posts within community organisations to increase levels of economic activity, local service provision and inclusion, and enhance community resilience; and
- Accelerating the implementation of projects and services delivering longer lasting community-led solutions.
The fund will be open to applications from community bodies, including community anchor organisations, third sector and other community organisations that are established to promote or improve the interests of communities in an area. A requirement for applicants to clearly demonstrate alignment with local authority and Community Planning Partnership plans will be fundamental.
The Scottish Government will be holding several stakeholder events in a number of locations throughout Scotland in February 2017 to provide further information to coincide with launch of the fund. The dates and venues for these events will be published on the Scottish Government website.
Social Innovation Fund
More new European funding programmes have been launched by Scottish Government’s Third Sector Unit. The £9.7m Social Economy Development Programme is comprised of the Social Economy Growth Fund and the Social Innovation Challenge Fund. The closing date for the first round of applications is 17th February. The Social Innovation Fund enables social economy organisations to work in collaboration with research institutions, the public and private sector to develop, test and scale up new ideas and solutions to tackle poverty and disadvantage. It supports a pipeline of projects following a three stage approach to social innovation.
Second phase of Dementia Friendly Communities Funding
In 2015, the Life Changes Trust invested £3.4 million in ‘dementia friendly communities’ across Scotland. The difference they can make to the lives of people with dementia and their carers is enormous. They challenge stereotypes, raise awareness and look beyond the dementia to see the person. They ensure that people remain connected to their communities, and reduce isolation and loneliness. The Trust has decided to invest a further £2 million in such communities and is now open for online applications.
Professional Practice Placement in Community Learning and Development
A Scottish Index of Multiple Assets and Aspirations?
Regeneration forum SURF has produced a proposal for a Scottish Index of Multiple Assets and Aspirations (SIMAA). People living and working in their Alliance for Action programme areas were concerned that Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation data was being used to negatively label communities as continuously multi-deprived – while ignoring positive changes. SURF has responded with a proposal which will enable communities to present the positive aspects of their lives. SURF will run SIMAA on a pilot basis in Alliance for Action areas in 2017
INFORMATION AND RESOURCES
Development Trust Reviews A further three Development Trust reviews have now been carried out by Education Scotland’s HMIs as part of a collaboration with DTAS. The organisations reviewed were Auchinleck Community Development Initiative, Healthy’n’Happy and Cranhill Development Trust. According to DTAS, all three trusts found the experience rewarding, positive and instructive.
New resources from NHS Health Scotland NHS Health Scotland has launched its new website: www.healthscotland.scot. The site aims to support policy and practice, with a particular focus on health inequalities. A number of new health inequalities briefings have recently been produced:
Evaluating Prevention In the last few years Scottish Government, funders and third sector organisations have been grappling with the idea of evaluating things that have been prevented from happening. The new Evaluating Prevention webpage from Evaluation Support Scotland has lots of resources to help you. This includes a Powerpoint presentation with top tips from ESS which explains the 5 steps to evaluating prevention. (Click on the picture on the left to access presentation).
What can individuals and organisations do to encourage Kinder Communities? At the first meeting of partners involved in the Carnegie UK Trust’s Kinder Communities project in November 2016, they discussed what they thought individuals and organisations might do to encourage kinder communities. A downloadable table provides a summary of that discussion. They would welcome thoughts based on your experience, on their Facebook page.
Effective connections to BME communities Voluntary Arts latest (UK wide) report – ‘Open Conversations: Developing strong, effective connections to Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities’, was developed by its BAME Advisory Panel. This Panel was initiated to help put the organisation on a path to greater diversity in all aspects of its work.
Scottish Land Fund Since its launch in March 2016, the Scottish Land Fund has awarded £1.7m to 58 community initiatives across the country – 13 specifically to acquire assets. SLF has provided an update including an interactive map of all those who have received awards to date.
Heritage as a means of community engagement SURF’s Alliance for Action held a shared learning sessions for partners and people living and working in the communities of Govan, Glasgow and Gallatown, Kirkcaldy on ‘Heritage as a means of community engagement’. This report explains the background, context and content of the session and records the learning and outputs achieved
Developing authentic relationships in complex settings This short briefing paper shares What Works Scotland’s early learning on developing authentic relationships that are durable, sustainable and honest when working with the complex dynamics of community planning partnerships. It is based on ongoing research by What Works Scotland across CPPs and other public services.
Community Shares Community Shares Scotland has a new publication – A guide to investing in community shares.
Communicating research effectively – infographic This infographic, produced by the Scottish Third Sector Research Forum (TSRF), will help third sector organisations to communicate their research effectively. It contains guidance, tips and good practice examples.
Cafes that Care A list of almost 100 venues across Scotland with a social purpose.
International Association for Community Development IACD has shared the film of a Panel Session “Without Community Development there is no Sustainable Development.” This was recorded at the 2016 joint international community development conference which they organised with the US Community Development Society.
Education for People and Planet Learning for Sustainability Scotland members heard from Aaron Benavot, Director of the new Global Education Monitoring Report by UNESCO at their AGM in January 2017. He spoke about the potential for education to propel progress towards all the Sustainable Development Goals. The report shows that education in every country needs a major transformation to fulfill that potential and meet the current challenges facing humanity and the planet. You can find his presentation here and download a summary of the report ‘Education for People and Planet’ here
Gender and inclusion toolbox: participatory research in climate change and agriculture This manual introduces a wide range of participatory strategies and tools for research to guide the implementation of climate smart agriculture and efforts to achieve food security in rural communities world-wide. It is intended for NGO practitioners and program designers interested in diagnostic and action research for gender sensitive and socially inclusive climate change programs. It is published by the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security
RESEARCH AND REPORTS
Agenda For Pioneering Open Government Common Weal has published a contribution to the Open Government Programme offering ideas on Accountability, Transparency and Participation. These include:
- A Citizen’s Assembly should be established as a ‘second chamber’ of the Scottish Parliament. That body should have the ability (including the resources) to establish inquiries run by independent citizens which can compel evidence and witnesses and which is free to produce reports. The panel would be temporary – selected at random from around the country – but weighted to reflect the demographics of the population.
- A Scottish National Democracy Academy should be established. This would be created jointly by academia, the public sector, civic society and citizens and could be staffed largely through secondments. It would be tasked with exploring new approaches to democracy in Scotland, advising the public sector and its institutions on best democratic practice, devising and piloting new practices and reviewing and commenting on the state of Scotland’s democracy.
- ‘One option would be’ to create a new layer of local government (at what used to be called the Burgh Council level) and bring Scotland in line with the ratios of elected politicians to constituents of most modern, complex democracies
- Communities and individuals should have the ability to come together to discuss local, national and international issues without ‘permission’ from or instigation by elected government. ‘Altings’ or ‘tings’ were an ancient Norse model of local assemblies … Bringing the model up to date can serve two purposes. Firstly by creating the infrastructure and support at a local level, communities or any interested subgroup of a community could meet and discuss any issue they wanted to and produce any conclusions they want. In addition, Tings would provide a link between public services and people by providing neutral places for specific issues to be aired,
Disconnected Communities A growing lack of community is costing Scottish society around £731 million every year. The research, commissioned by Eden Project and The Big Lunch, reveals the annual cost to Scotland’s public services of social isolation and disconnected communities. It shows that through isolation, demand on health services is increasing to the tune of £107 million each year while other areas such as policing are costing an extra £12 million. Disconnected communities are also linked to a loss of productivity, with a net cost to the Scottish economy of nearly £252 million every year. The study also reveals that neighbourliness has a huge welfare value to the Scottish people, with over £593 million saved each year because of resources shared and help provided by neighbours who know each other.
Public Service Reform A Reid Foundation Policy Paper by Dave Watson examines the context and development of public service reform in Scotland and analyses the approaches of the current government and those who advocate other reforms. Five years after the Christie Commission set out the principles of a particularly Scottish approach, it is time to take a holistic look at the next stage of reform.
He argues for the delivery of integrated public services built around recognisable communities, whose primary focus is to challenge underlying inequalities. Services should be delivered at the lowest practical level, allowing staff and citizens to design services in a way that best meets the needs of their communities. The role of central government should be to set the strategic direction based on outcomes. The paper attempts to break out of the sterile centralism v localism debate, with a different approach. It offers a co-operative more equal Scotland, rather than one left to the vagaries of the market.
The author is the Head of Policy and Public Affairs at UNISON Scotland. He was an expert advisor to the Christie Commission.
Learning about community capacity-building from the Community Links Worker approach This What Works Scotland action research report is an Inquiry into community capacity-building which improves health and wellbeing and supports the process of health and social care integration. The report focuses on a Community Links project in rural Aberdeenshire. It identifies what makes for good practice in community linking, and what supports its development and spread.
Health of the UK’s democracy Involve has a new report on the health of the UK’s democracy ‘Room for a View: Democracy as a Deliberative System’.
One in four young people don’t feel in control of their lives The Prince’s Trust Macquarie Youth Index for 2016 is a UK survey of 2,215 young people aged 16 to 25 that gauges young people’s wellbeing across a range of areas from family life to physical health. The latest report demonstrates that young people’s wellbeing is at its lowest level since the Index was first commissioned.
- More than a quarter of young people (28 per cent) do not feel in control of their lives
- A third of young people (36 per cent) do not feel in control of their job prospects
- More than one in ten (16 per cent) think their life will amount to nothing, no matter how hard they try
- A fifth of young people (18 per cent) do not think they have the ability to change their circumstances if they want to
- The situation is even worse for NEET young people, who are more likely to feel worried about their circumstances and future
- 34 per cent of young people think they will have a worse standard of living than their parents
- 42 per cent of young people feel traditional goals like owning a house or getting a steady job are unrealistic
- One in ten young people (12%) claim they don’t know anyone who ‘really cares’ about them
- 45% feel stressed about body image and 37% feel stressed about how to cope at work or school.
Scottish Communities Climate Action Network annual gathering February 4th, 09:30 – 16:30, David Hume Tower, George Square, Edinburgh. £5 – £35
Book your ticket at https://sccan4feb.eventbrite.co.uk There is also a free social gathering on the evening before, register at https://sccan3feb.eventbrite.co.uk. Both events will be joined by Paul Allen, Director of Zero Carbon Britain, the flagship research project from the Centre for Alternative Technology, showing that a modern, zero-emissions society is possible using technology available today.
Building communities and tackling anti-social behaviour 22 February 2017, Radisson Blu Hotel, Glasgow. CIH member – £125 + VAT, Non CIH member – £200 + VAT, Voluntary organisation rate (Housing Charity volunteer or Voluntary/Tenant Organisation representative) – £80.00 + VAT (to book this rate contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 0131 225 4544 directly .)
This one day Chartered Institute of Housing event (Programme; Bookings) will look at examples of how housing providers are working with communities and partners to tackle ASB and promote community cohesion. Speakers will include:
- Karen Armstrong, Social Justice Strategy Policy Officer, The Scottish Government
- Margaret Layden, Regeneration Manager, Ng Homes
This event will be of interest to staff working in housing associations and local authorities who have responsibility for or involvement in dealing with anti-social behaviour. This would include community safety services, community wardens and community police officers as well as those working in tenancy support services.
Community Health Exchange Conference conference 2017 – save the date! Wednesday 1st March, The Studio, 67 Hope Street, Glasgow.
This will be another vibrant event to bring people working for community led health in Scotland together to talk, learn and share. For more information, email email@example.com or call 0141 248 1924
Generations Working Together National Conference 2017 Wednesday 8th March, 10:00am–4:00pm, Stirling Court Hotel, University of Stirling, Stirling, FK9 4LA (£30)
Scottish Council on Deafness “Connect & Capitalise” Conference Thursday 9th March, Glasgow Doubletree Hilton.
At the third SCoD Conference, ‘Connect & Capitalise’, the Minister for Mental Health, Maureen Watt MSP, will be the first keynote speaker. Yvonne Strachan CBE Head of Human Rights and Equality at the Scottish Government and Martyn Evans, the Chief Executive of the Carnegie Trust UK will also be speaking. Early bird tickets are now on sale
Social Enterprise Exchange Tuesday 21st March, Corn Exchange, Edinburgh Cost for SES members – £75 + VAT; All other SE delegates – £100 + VAT
Social Enterprise Scotland is hosting its Social Enterprise Exchange again. The day will include a market place as well as a series of workshops and is targeted at social enterprises, charities, public and private sector organisations – and will open with some words from the First Minster.
Making Politics Educational – the Role of Community Learning and Development Wednesday 22nd March, 10.30am – 3.30pm (registration from 10am). University of Dundee
Education Scotland invites you to the third in a series of professional learning sessions on Learning for Democracy aimed at community learning and development (CLD) practitioners from across the public, voluntary and community sectors. This session will focus on the demand for learning practical ways in which educational work around political and democratic issues can be developed, looking at examples of what has worked in a range of contexts and settings. It will also help to examine a range of processes and techniques which can be adapted to be used in different places.
There is no cost to attend and places can be booked online. Please register asap as places will be limited.