Local People Leading
Scottish Community Alliance
What We Are
The Scottish Community Alliance is leading the campaign for a strong and independent community sector in Scotland. It was initiated in Jan 2007 by an informal coalition of four national networks: Development Trust Association Scotland, Community Woodlands Association, Community Recycling Network Scotland and Senscot. We called this informal coalition Local People Leading. Each of these organisations serves community based memberships and together they share a vision of an empowered and independent community sector. Since 2007, Local People Leading was joined by a growing number of networks with community based memberships. Towards the end of 2010, these networks agreed to formalise LPL and rename itself – The Scottish Community Alliance.
Those networks that were involved in setting up LPL took the view at the time that creating a separate organisation would have as many disadvantages as benefits. The intention is that LPL should be seen as a ‘wrapper’ or ‘kite mark’ which denotes certain shared beliefs, values and intentions – the way the Fairtrade kitemark works. As a campaign to empower communities, LPL was not something distinct from the work already undertaken by participating bodies but served as a joining of forces. Admin functions (management of staff, finance etc) were carried out by a nominated lead organisation (DTA Scotland) – the accountable body. Now that relationships between these networks have had time to develop and for levels of trust to build up between them, it was felt that the time was right to formalise the arrangement by constituting the organisation and renaming it the Scottish Community Alliance.
The Scottish Community Alliance takes the view that as a result of the centralist policies of national and local governments over the last 20 years – local democracy in the UK is at a low ebb. We believe that the cornerstone for developing a more sustainable, inclusive and democratic society is for communities to have more control and responsibility for issues that matter most locally. All across the country there are examples of communities which have organised for their own empowerment. The vision we share is of a vigorous community sector, able to engage in a new relationship between the state, community organisations and citizens.