Untapped potential of communities

Untapped potential of communities
Community Sector Alliance


Dear sir


Leading networks within Scotland’s community sector are coming together today to form the Scottish Community Alliance.  Everyone lives in a community of some description and many people – hundreds of thousands of them – take an active part in helping to make them better places to live.  Thousands of local groups operate across the country.  Some are formal organisations employing staff, while others are run entirely by volunteers.  The range of what they do is enormous – from owning windfarms with a potential income of millions to running the village hall, a community bus or growing community allotments. It is this mass of grassroots activity that forms the bedrock of our society – our Big Society. However we believe Scotland’s community sector – its scale, achievements and contribution to Scottish prosperity – have been undervalued and unrecognised for too long. 


Despite our significant achievements to date, we believe the real potential of the community sector remains untapped.  There are huge reserves of creative energy and resourcefulness that can and should be harnessed for the common good of the country.  In order to achieve this we call on government, at local and national level, to work with the community sector in a renewed spirit of partnership based on trust and mutual respect.   A first step would be a formal acknowledgement from Scottish Government of the community sector as a distinctive force in re-shaping Scottish society. So today, leading networks of the community sector are coming together for the first time as the Scottish Community Alliance to formally represent our sector’s interests to the Scottish Government.


Yours sincerely 


Carola Bell – chairperson
Community Energy Scotland


Paul Johnston – chairperson
Community Resources Network Scotland


Norman MacDonald – chairperson
Community Retailing Network


Jim McCreath – chairperson of Scottish Committee
Community Transport Association(UK) 


Michaela Hunter – chairperson
Community Woodlands Association


Alex Walker – chairperson
Development Trusts Association Scotland


Bill Kirkhope – chairperson
EVH – supporting social employers


David Drury – chairperson
Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens


Peter Howden – chairperson
Glasgow and West of Scotland Forum of Housing Associations


Ian Welsh – president
Scottish Allotments and Gardens Society 


Stephen Sweeney – chairperson
Scottish League of Credit Unions


Sophie Green – chairperson


Peter McCall – chairperson
Transition Scotland Support