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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.

What is the Common Good?

  • Common Good is Scotland’s most historic form of statutory common property regime with the Common Good Act 1491 providing the foundation statute and still in force today.
  • Common Good is a form of common property that is owned for the benefit of the vast majority (over 80%) of the people in Scotland who live in urban areas.
  • Modernising Common Good governance provides a fast track means to engage very large numbers of people in the management of common property.
  • Common Good as a term has a wider meaning in public policy and is widely used as a term that emphasises the need to do things for the benefit of all of society. It is thus a concept that is not difficult to understand.
  • Common Good governance need not be simply about managing historic assets but could readily evolve into the basis for an expanded portfolio of community owned assets in Scotland’s historic burghs.

If you’d like to be part of a campaign to reform the Common Good in Scotland, please get in touch –


The most clicked on article from our most recent Briefing – 29th June 2022


What’s happening to the Common Good

The Common Good Funds held by local councils on our behalf are the oldest form of what today would be more commonly referred to as community assets. Although the 2015 Community Empowerment Act requires all local authorities to publish a separate register of what common good assets they hold, it appears that not all do and indeed their methods of valuation and recording of disposals also seem to vary widely. The investigative news source, The Ferret, has been digging into the facts and figures and appears to have unearthed some worrying inconsistencies across the board.


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!

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