The Scottish Community Alliance is leading the campaign for a strong and independent community sector in Scotland. It brings together 18 self-organising community networks that in turn represent over 2,000 community groups and more than 100,000 citizens. The Alliance felt that it was time to set out a strategy for the community sector in a clear and coherent way – in a way that described how every community in Scotland could become an empowered community and how local ambitions in the fields of land, transport, food, energy and so on could be fully realised. It turned to Social Value Lab to help develop and present this vision.
We worked with the Scottish Community Alliance to shape and articulate a vision that was widely shared by its member networks. No mean feat given the diverse activities and aspirations of these community networks. This eventually took the form of a document – Local People Leading – part vision, part strategy, part manifesto.
We then worked with members of the Alliance to develop a set of 12 position papers, each setting out relevant public policy priorities, the existing contribution of the community sector, and associated recommendations on how to grow and deepen the impact of the community sector. The policy papers focused on Energy, Land, Regeneration, Waste, Health, Arts, Housing, Sport, Enterprise, Transport, Food, and Financial Inclusion.
The Scottish Community Alliance now has a shared vision in place – setting out how conditions for genuine community empowerment can be achieved through changes in local democracy, public services, and across our community sector. It also has a coherent set of policy positions which, if implemented, will lead to a new relationship between the government, community organisations and citizens … and better outcomes for everyone.