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Scottish Community Alliance

- Local People Leading

In 2011, a number of Scotland’s community sector networks came together to form the Scottish Community Alliance. Our purpose is to campaign collectively for a stronger and more cohesive community sector in Scotland.

SCA has two main functions – to promote the work of local people in their communities and to influence national policy in order to reflect the best interests of the sector.

A guiding principle for SCA as an organisation is that it should seek to add value to the work of the individual networks within its membership. To this end, as an organisation it has remained ‘light touch’, employing a minimum of staff, and directly investing whenever possible in activities that compliment and support the work of its membership.

Lessons learned


The downside of so much attention being focused on the way that communities across the land have responded to the challenges of lockdown is that it might start to be taken for granted. And as the focus shifts from the initial emergency response to longer term issues of local recovery and resilience, there’s a need to try to learn lessons from this first phase so they inform the national approach going forward. SCA spoke with a group of community anchor organisations that have been to the fore of the emergency response phase. Some interesting observations.

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This is the most clicked on article from our most recent Briefing – 1st July 2020


It isn’t a legal requirement for landowners to engage with local people on decisions about land but since the publication of guidance by Scottish Land Commission, there’s been an expectation that most landowners would comply.  And while many landowners have welcomed the new protocols on community engagement, clearly some have not. A fairly shocking example of blatant disregard of the guidance has just occurred on a Stirlingshire estate. Equally shocking is the local planning authorities apparent enthusiasm to grant retrospective permissions. All of which strengthens the call for more legislation. This letter from residents says it all.

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Community Anchor Organisations

Those communities that are the most effective in terms of organising themselves to address whatever challenges they face, appear to have certain characteristics in common. In particular, these communities tend to organise themselves around a local organisation (sometimes more than one working in partnership) which is under the control and ownership of local people.

These organisations have come to be known as Community Anchor Organisations (CAOs). Since its formation, SCA has consistently advocated that the presence of a community  anchor organisation is a prerequisite of effective and sustained community empowerment.

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Our fortnightly briefing - LOCAL PEOPLE LEADING

Once a fortnight, we publish LOCAL PEOPLE LEADING - a compendium of comment and coverage of relevant policy and stories of community action from across the spectrum. Currently going out to just over 4,300 subscribers - a readership which include community activists, journalists, academics, politicians (national, local and community), civil servants and local government officers. Anyone with even a passing interest in Scotland's community sector should subscribe - and it's free!

Our latest tweets

July 6, 2020
Trust and respect. Very good to hear. Let’s build on that as we move into recovery.
June 26, 2020
RT @Richard_Dixon: Filing the Benny Higgins report where it deserves. @NicolaSturgeon #BuildBackBetterScot
June 23, 2020
RT @ScotCCAN: A healthy economy should be designed to thrive, not grow | Fascinating Ted Talk by @KateRaworth about @DoughnutEcon Join 20…
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