Last year I was asked by the Scottish government to chair an independent expert group to consider the principles and policies of a benefits system for people of working age in Scotland should there be a ‘Yes’ vote in September.
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Regardless of whether Scots vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ in September’s referendum on independence, their country (and the UK) will never be the same again.
Dotted around Scotland are small groups of huts – the remnants of the 1920’s hutting movement which allowed industrial workers to enjoy time in nature with their families. Karen Grant from the Thousand Huts campaign believes that today Scotland needs huts more than ever.
How can we create ‘the emerald green age’ of cities in Scotland? What can Scottish towns and cities learn from pioneers like Freiburg in Germany?
Anyone who thinks libraries are going away simply because books are going digital are missing the true shifts taking place in the world of information.
It is more and more important to develop this community value in a world that is often one of isolation, solitary social media and Internet. We are about social and digital inclusion and making people feel at home in their public space.
What the European experience demonstrates is that small scale landownership can deliver large scale economic success through co-operation. It is possible to envisage a Scotland of small-scale forestry, of farm forestry, of small-scale rural businesses and of community forests. This is the reality in France and Finland but it is a million miles from the nihilistic corporatist model we have developed in Scotland where celebrities and wealthy individuals from the UK and abroad are given free rein to exploit the public funds provided to expand Scotland’s forests as a source of personal tax free aggrandisement.
Surf, Scotland’s independent regeneration network, investigated the impacts of the recession on two communities, and assessed how local responses are helping maintain their resilience. Derek Rankine reports.
Imagine a town with no centres. What would this place be? What would its civic DNA be? Imagine economies of scale didn’t work for all people all the time. Imagine community services delivered in the community, where people are and solutions are worked out together.
Efficiency without love creates the conditions for loneliness and isolation. This a form of robbery of the right to be a child. In the long term, it robs the person of the capacity to be, and to flourish. In the long term, this is a public cost.
Too many of our public services are still driven by internal priorities. That must change. Public consultation, social inclusion and partnership working are now discredited concepts because we associate them with people and processes that prevent rather than spark progress.