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  • If Not Now, When? The Social Renewal Advisory Board report

    Created: 22/01/2021

    The Social Renewal Advisory Board was set up by Scottish Ministers to make proposals that can renew Scotland once we start to emerge from the pandemic. The final report "If not now, when?", sets a course towards this future.


    The Social Renewal Advisory Board was set up by Scottish Ministers to make proposals that can renew Scotland once we start to emerge from the pandemic. The Board have said: "At the time of writing, the pandemic is very much still with us, and evolving in deeply concerning ways, but we should not wait for this crisis to be over to begin to learn its lessons. Indeed, many of the challenges facing public health have been exacerbated by the structural inequalities this report is seeking to address. We must begin to plan and to act now."

    The Board met 11 times between June 2020 and January 2021 to develop its ideas. In this time, it has collaborated with nine policy groups and has been involved with a wide range of public engagement activity, including community listening events across 31 local authority areas, four discussions with Poverty Truth Commissions, a set of 'focus groups' (Deep Dive events) with equality groups, and over 100 responses from organisations to a call for evidence and ideas.

    The Board's "If not now, when?" report is a Call To Action and details it's suggestions on how Scotland should move forward once the pandemic is over. It focuses on the following areas and suggestions:

    Money and Work

    • Commit to a Minimum Income Guarantee for all as a long-term aim.
    • Develop an approach to anti-poverty work, including personal debt, that is designed around the needs of the individual.
    • Work in partnership to develop a new social contract on Fair Work.
    • Focus Fair Work actions on those most affected by the pandemic.
    • Extend free early learning, childcare and social care so all parents and carers can access the childcare they need, when they need it.

    People, Rights and Advancing Equality

    • Incorporate the right to an adequate and accessible home in Scots Law.
    • Make sure there are enough e enough homes that are secure, warm, accessible, affordable, and not overcrowded, in places people want to live.
    • Ensure everyone can access nutritious, culturally appropriate and affordable food.
    • Set a target to end digital exclusion in the next parliamentary term.
    • Adopt the principles of Universal Basic Services.
    • Incorporate key international human rights instruments into Scots Law so as to deliver real change.
    • Take action to realise the human rights of disabled people.
    • Build inclusive communication into all national and local government funding requirements.
    • Strengthen approaches to prevent and address hate crime and public sexual harassment.
    • Apply the rights and entitlements in this report to all migrants, including refugees and asylum seekers.

    Communities and Collective Endeavour

    • Further shift the balance of power so individuals and communities have more control over decisions that affect their lives.
    • Improve service delivery and design by empowering frontline teams and the people and communities they serve.
    • Build on new ways of working, based on what has worked well during the pandemic, and develop.
    • Focus everyone and all activities on building more resilient, fairer, healthier and stronger communities and places.

    Closing The Gap Between Promise and Practice

    • Co-design how we assess progress towards renewal, incorporating deeper engagement with those people and communities who have first-hand experience of poverty, inequality and restricted life chances.

    The above topics are expanded in great detail within the full report.

    A British Sign Language (BSL) version of The Social Renewal Advisory Board Report - Summary Extract is available on Vimeo. An easy read version of the report can be found here.

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