Fairer Scotland event for Community Councils 10: Thoughts and encounters part 2

Thoughts and encounters part 2

I spoke with a few delegates during the day, and some other interesting topics came up in the all-delegate discussions. This and the previous post report my reactions to these topics.

CC ELECTIONS

It was suggested that all CC elections across Scotland should be on the same day. I’m in favour of that because it may increase awareness and because LAs may be able to work together to improve systems and reduce costs.

CC NETWORKING

It was also suggested that there needs to be a national association of CCs. I’m pretty much in favour of that, especially if it helps spread good practice across LA borders. I’m not sure it can be made to work immediately by SG fiat, and I’m aware that the ASCC that fell over in 2011 did not include all existent CCs. I’ve been told some horror-stories about how the ASCC was run. (I can’t repeat them here because I have no independent proof.) However, it may be better to aim for an organic network of CC members, sharing knowledge and ideas. Perhaps local fora that include CCs, or LA associations of CCs, can reach out to each other. I don’t pretend to know which method will work best but perhaps it’s best to try several simultaneously and see what works. Perhaps what works will vary across Scotland. This is an area I hope to research in coming years.

Some people said that the KnowledgeHub isn’t a good forum for information exchange. In my limited experience, it can be a bit clunky. However, as an IS member put it, where else is free, secure, offers the same or better facilities and includes so many groups around public service?

Another delegate, whose CC has a highly engaged online presence, suggested that CCs could be part of the Smart City idea. I’m not sure how this would pan out but I wouldn’t mind being part of relevant work.

A SUCCESS STORY OR TWO

One of the delegates at my table told me that when his CC mapped where bins were needed, the LA eventually provided them. (He then sighed ‘if only people would use them…’)

Another spoke about his CC and community’s campaign against a hostel for homeless people proposed for their area. (Speaking personally, I’d campaign the other way.) While they didn’t manage to prevent the hostel, they did get certain safeguards installed.

These two show me that CCs can have some influence. More such success stories are needed, and they need to be publicised via the the CC website and any other route we can find.

MORE DIGICC WORKSHOPS

At least two delegates were displeased that none of the currently-planned digiCC workshops will be in Glasgow. I tend to agree with this – Glasgow has 80 active CCs, at least two of which have online presences that make me very jealous. There are also some very poor Glasgow CC websites. Assuming I can fit it within my other commitments, I’d be delighted to run a digiCC workshop in Glasgow. One delegate asked me how much this would cost – I’m due to send him an estimate (including catering, expenses for facilitators and stationery, payment for my time) very soon. I don’t know what will come of this but I live in hope that I can do something useful.

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