SCDC contributes to Local Government and Regeneration Committee at Scottish Parliament
SCDC was invited to give evidence to the Local Government and Regeneration Committee on 26th June 2013. The committee listened to evidence from a small number organisations including Development Trusts Association Scotland, Scottish Community Alliance, and Scotland's Urban Regeneration Forum.
This is the second Local Government and Regeneration Committee meeting where SCDC has been asked to give evidence on issues facing communities in relation to regeneration and community development. Stuart Hashagen, Senior Community Development Advisor contributed to the discussion and emphasised the following points:
- The achievements and benefits of community action are not recognised widely enough: it is a challenge to community development to communicate these messages more strongly
- Although they play an essential role in dealing with the things that really matter, community organisations cannot, and cannot be expected to lead regeneration alone: that requires effective partnership between communities and public service providers
- Regeneration is ultimately about poverty and exclusion. Our poorest communities are facing a four-way whammy: incomes down; public services withdrawn or priced; cuts in funds to community organisations that support communities, and the ‘poverty premium' which means poor people pay more - payday loans being an obvious example of this
- In regeneration the emphasis has been on economic and physical renewal at the expense of social development. Yet social development creates the core infrastructure without which sustainability and resilience cannot be built
- To remedy this there needs to be renewed attention to and investment in social development. In particular, neighbourhood work is necessary in the communities with the weakest social ties to build the sense of confidence, inclusion and purpose without which communities will be unable to participate in any form of community-led regneration