MSPs discuss communities

During the course of its year-long inquiry, the Committee visited communities across Scotland to learn more about how regeneration can reduce poverty and inequality and the important role that communities play. The Committee will revisit the Seaton Backies project to talk about recommendations from the report.

The Committee found that years of regeneration policies have delivered few long-lasting outcomes for the most deprived communities in Scotland. It also found that although community was at the heart of much of the focus of regeneration work, in practice it was difficult for those living and working in those communities to have a real say on what was happening to them.

Committee Convener Kevin Stewart MSP said: “Our inquiry has found that people and communities are at the heart of regeneration work and that for regeneration to truly make an impact then community must be at the heart of decision making processes.

“At the start of our inquiry we heard first hand from those involved in the Seaton Backies Project about the work they have done to transform their community.

“By coming back to launch our inquiry, we are giving a clear message about the role which communities must play if we really are to transform the lives of the most disadvantaged in Scotland.

“A message which we hope all those involved in regeneration will hear.”

The report itself was launched at 11am on Monday, February 25, during a meeting of MSPs at Aberdeen.

Members of the Aberdeen community were given the opportunity to learn more about the report and recommendations from it by Scottish Parliament’s Local Government and Regeneration Committee’s inquiry at the launch.

Conclusions from the report included that the funding landscape is unclear, local authorities should have dedicated community officers to support community-led projects, and that there is a need for further improvement in community planning partnership performance.