Last year the Scottish Government announced that it will ‘take the lead for national policy for community development’ through its Community Empowerment Unit. This perhaps represents a recognition that community development is essential to the successful implementation of the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015. It certainly creates the potential for a clearer statement of the shared commitment to strengthening communities that is essential to the delivery of many aspects of government policy.
Community Development Alliance Scotland has in recent years argued, following discussions and consultations with its member organisations, that the Scottish Government and partners should work to create a new overarching statement of vision on the role of stronger communities, with a process for its implementation; and that this vision should express a central commitment to the promotion of community development.
As a contribution to dialogue about this, we have offered our own draft version of what we think a statement or charter of common Scottish commitment to community development might include. Any government statement would no doubt spell out the policy context in more detail and would, we hope, be enhanced by specific practical examples of community development in action. We would be very interested to hear your comments and ideas.