A Scotland of Better Places: Jennifer, Jayne and John

Yesterday wasn’t a focused Porty Central day. The chat on our internal comms was about visuals and branding and using the huge spaces on either side of the front of the Town Hall to announce our presence. Not an area we know much about yet but well, watch those spaces.

My only Porty Central activity was watching a webinar hosted by the David Hume Institute called ‘A Scotland of Better Places’ by academic Duncan Maclennan and with John Swinney too. The paper can be found here .

Team member Jayne had shared it a while back and I’d noted it in my diary. We’d been holding the date of 1st June at one stage for a public meeting. That meeting has been delayed (waiting till we have spoken to the council) but will still happen, but when that cancelled, I was freed up to attend the talk.

The talk was encouraging. Was thoughtful and sounded quite radical to my ears and fed into what we’ve been trying to do. Resonate Together and Corra Foundation people seemed inspiring talking of ‘citizen centred organisation’ and ‘agenda free space’ – where public spaces don’t always have to be about fixing what is wrong, noting people are prepared to put in huge effort to support their area.

Talk seemed to be of a shift in focus from government thinking about what it delivers to people to how does what is delivered transform the lives of people – wrap public services around people rather than people having to fit into services provided. This was alongside recognition that budget cuts at local level have decimated ability to deliver locally. There was a fair focus on not for profits delivering locally and the role of anchor organisations was discussed.

John Swinney closed on how when Scottish Land Fund buys buildings it creates community capacity. He talked of when you see capacity and aspiration together, it is phenomenal. Is that maybe what we have?

Jennifer’s Blog

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