Social Renewal Advisory Board


On 9 June 2020, the Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government and the Cabinet Secretary for Social Security and Older People announced the creation of a Social Renewal Advisory Board. 

During the response to the COVID-19 pandemic there was a significant amount of work undertaken to support people and communities which was delivered at pace and challenged traditional ways of working, cultures and mind sets.

The Board aims to build on the shifts in policy and practice that we have seen as a result of working across portfolios and in partnership with frontline service deliverers in local government, the third sector and communities. The Board aims to bank the policy and practice shifts seen during COVID-19 and utilise our current practice and knowledge with an emphasis on delivering equality and social justice. It will focus on reducing poverty and disadvantage, embedding a human-rights based approach and advancing equality.

Board Members include experts in housing, disability, poverty, homelessness and the third sector. In recognition of the role that local government plays in delivering services crucial to communities, both COSLA and SOLACE have representatives on the Board. 

A detailed programme to bring in the voices of lived experience will sit alongside the Board. This will inform every decision taken as part of this process. 

Policy circles

The Board will scrutinise the work of a series of ‘policy circles’ that will each be tasked to work at pace on recommendations and solutions. The circles will be specific groups working on a series of key policy issues. 

The circles will focus on: addressing low income, community-led and place based renewal, cross-cutting delivery, financial security, food, the housing system, third sector and volunteering.

Key to the circles will be ensuring that those with lived experience are right at the heart of discussions. Throughout the process we will ensure that people are supported to engage effectively.


Members have been invited on the basis of their own personal contributions to Scottish life and are not representative of their organisations (with the exception of representatives from COSLA and SOLACE).

  • Angela O’Hagan, Reader in Equalities and Public Policy and Deputy Director of the Wise Centre for Economic Justice at GCU; Chair of the Scottish Government Equalities Budget Advisory Group
  • Anna Fowlie, Chief Executive of Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations
  • Bill Scott , Senior Policy Advisor at Inclusion Scotland and Chair of the Poverty and Inequality Commission
  • Eileen Cawley, Administrator/Development Officer at the Scottish Pensioners Forum and Member of the Scottish Government Cross Party Group on Older People, Age and Ageing, the Cross Party Group on Funerals and Bereavement and the Older People’s Strategic Action Forum
  • Emma Ritch, Executive Director of Engender and member of the First Minister’s Advisory Council on Women and Girls
  • Etienne D’Aboville, Chief Executive of the Glasgow Centre for Inclusive Living and member of the Scottish Government’s Disability and Carers’ Benefits Expert Advisory Group
  • Jim McCormick, Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Chair of the Edinburgh Poverty Commission
  • Jon Sparkes, Chief Executive of Crisis and a member of Scottish Government’s Homelessness Prevention and Strategy Group. Also a member of the UK Government’s Rough Sleeping Advisory Panel, and previously Chair of both the Scottish Government’s Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Action Group and the Welsh Government’s Homelessness Action Group
  • Leigh Sparks, Deputy Principal and Professor of Retail Studies at University of Stirling, Chair of Scotland's Towns Partnership
  • Lindsay Graham, Member of the Poverty and Inequality Commission and member of the Scotland Committee of National Lottery
  • Lisa Maclean, Chief Executive of Urras Oighreachd Ghabhsainn
  • Louise Macdonald, Chief Executive of Young Scot and Co-Chair of the First Minister’s National Advisory Council on Women and Girls
  • Maureen Sier, Director of Interfaith Scotland and trustee of the Interfaith Network for the UK (IFN)
  • Neil McInroy, Chief Executive of the Centre for Local Economic Strategies
  • Sabir Zazai, Chief Executive of Scottish Refugee Council
  •  Sally Thomas, Chief Executive Scottish Federation of Housing Associations, member of the Homelessness Prevention Strategy Group and the Scotland’s Climate Assembly 
  • Satwat Rehman, Director of One Parent Families Scotland and member of the First Minister’s Advisory Council on Women and Girls
  • Susan McPhee, Formerly of Citizens Advice Scotland
  • Tressa Burke, Chief Executive Officer of Glasgow Disability Alliance, Depute Chair of Ministerial Expert Group -  Disability and Carers’ Benefits Expert Advisory Group and member of the SG Local Governance Enabling Group
  • Cllr Alison Evison, President, Convention of Scottish Local Authorities
  • Fiona Lees, Chief Executive of East Ayrshire Council and representing Society of Local Authority Chief Executives (SOLACE)