Community Wealth Building Bill Steering Group minutes: May 2022

Minutes from the meeting of the group on 10 May 2022.

Attendees and apologies

  • Minister for Public Finance, Planning and Community Wealth (Chair)
  • Martin Avila, Chief Executive Officer, Community Enterprise in Scotland
  • Colin Borland, Director of Devolved Nations, Federation of Small Business
  • Nikki Bridle, Chief Executive, Clackmannanshire Council
  • Gillian Cameron, Programme Manager, Supplier Development Scotland 
  • Anthea Coulter, Chief Executive Officer, CTSI   
  • Rob Davidson, Strategy Manager, CWB, South of Scotland Enterprise
  • James Dunphy, Director of Access, Learning and Outcomes, Scottish Funding Council
  • Councillor Alison Evison, President of COSLA 
  • Ian Gibson, Chair, Business Service Association, Scotland 
  • Calum Lindsay, Policy Manager, Environment and Economy Team, COSLA 
  • Dona Milne, Director of Public Health, NHS Lothian 
  • Barbara Morton, Director, Sustainable Procurement
  • Caitriona McAuley, Head of Service (Economic Development and Regeneration), North Ayrshire Council
  • Valerie McNiece, Programme Manager, Health and Inclusive Economy, Glasgow City Region
  • Mags McSporran, Head of Social Enterprise Development, Highlands and Island Enterprise
  • Sinead O’Donnell, Project Manager, Fife Council
  • Duncan Thorp, Policy and Communications Manager, Social Enterprise Scotland
  • Morag Watson, Director of Policy, Scottish Renewables 
  • Kate Wimpress, Chair, SURF, (attending for Euan Leitch)
  • Naila Wood, Head of Social Impact, Balfour Beatty
  • Darah Zahran, Social Economy Manager, Scottish Enterprise 

In attendance

  • Neil McInroy, CWB Advisor to the Scottish Government
  • Debbie McCall, Deputy Director, Local Economic Delivery
  • Stephen White, Head of CWB
  • Tracy Jackson, CWB Policy Manager
  • Julie McLachlan, CWB Legislation and Policy Manager
  • David Fitzpatrick, Policy Officer
  • Lorraine Wylie, Senior Policy Officer
  • Laura Bremner, Senior Policy Officer


  • Malcolm Burr, Chief Executive, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar
  • Anna Fowlie, Chief Executive, Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO)
  • Roz Foyer, General Secretary, Scottish TUC
  • Ian Manson, Chief Executive, Clyde Gateway
  • Secretariat, SG CWB Team 

Items and actions

Welcome from the Chair

The Minister for Public Finance, Planning and Community Wealth, Mr Arthur, welcomed attendees to the first meeting of the Steering Group, thanked the attendees for agreeing to participate in the group and highlighted the important task the Steering Group will have in supporting the development of primary legislation on Community Wealth Building.

Scottish Government aims and objectives for CWB and legislation 

Mr Arthur provided an overview of SG aims and objectives for CWB including:

  • that CWB has been adopted by SG as a key policy to deliver on Wellbeing Economy ambitions
  • the CWB model allows us to narrow our focus on actions that will turn the dial in very practical terms
  • keen that the development of legislation is ‘bottom up’, building on the work already underway across Scotland including by the SG-supported pilot areas and local government
  • the legislation we plan to introduce will attempt to address blockages identified within areas leading the implementation of CWB and support further embedding of this approach across Scotland
  • CWB is about re-wiring the economy and legislation can support this, CWB is not about ‘re-badging’ current activity
  • the desire to be bold and ambitious due to the opportunity afforded to us through legislation and keen to undertake this work in a collaborative manner

Steering group views on CWB progress in Scotland and potential areas of focus for legislation 

Mr Arthur invited Steering Group members to share their reflections on the following areas:

  • progress in implementing CWB in Scotland
  • the key opportunities and challenges in delivering CWB
  • which areas should legislation focus on to remove challenges and accelerate delivery

Steering Group members shared the following key points:

Removing barriers and ‘enabling’ legislation

  • welcome the focus outlined including on removing barriers and learning from the bottom up, and welcome wide membership of the Group, including those with experience of delivering CWB, this includes local government who are leading much of CWB activity underway in Scotland and working collaboratively with other anchor organisations
  • a potential barrier is the need to facilitate joined up policy and investment, as well as capacity funding
  • legislation should enable creativity rather than a focus on the minimum activity required
  • there is a need to identify areas of good practice across the public, private and third sectors and any gaps
  • a potential opportunity is to explore what further can be done with section 75 within Planning to ensure greater community benefit
  • economic development which includes support to business is not a statutory function of local government, and most other anchor organisations do not have an economic development function
  • there is an important connection between economic development and public health and legislation should recognise this relationship

Landscape, stakeholders and structures

  • how do we maximise existing structures such as Community Planning Partners to deliver CWB
  • growth of the renewables industry in Scotland and the requirement for a strategic approach to community ownership, and to maximise community benefit approaches
  • there is a need to build capacity of plurally owned businesses to play a more active role in the economy, there is a currently a lack of capacity within the sector to be able to take on opportunities that are available
  • some smaller organisations are struggling to focus on fair work given current economic situation
  • several members highlighted the need to build community, business and Third Sector Interface capacity to support and engage with CWB
  • the important role that colleges and universities can have in delivering CWB, and the need to link to wider work on coherence and sustainability of colleges and universities
  • private sector contractors can be considered as anchor organisations and there’s an opportunity to more ambitious of our asks through community benefits


  • growing demand on Supplier Development Programme to support CWB ambitions
  • in relation to procurement, there is a need to ensure that operational staff feel empowered to make decisions that support CWB and are not overly risk averse
  • public procurement is central to CWB and we can build on what has already been delivered through existing legislation e.g. community benefits

Mr Arthur extended his thanks to the Group for their contributions and concluded the discussion by reflecting on some key points including that legislation provided the opportunity to mainstream CWB activity; the importance of ensuring that legislation does not hamper innovation however shows that CWB cannot be an optional extra; codifies activity already underway and allows it to go further.

Mr Arthur invited Neil McInroy, CWB Advisor to SG, to add any reflections on the discussion. Neil reflected that is was great to see such energy from the Steering Group, and agreed with points regarding CWB being about re-wiring of the economy and not re-badging. Neil outlined the importance of considering the suite of CWB pillars collectively.

Terms of reference – discussion

Mr Arthur invited feedback from the group on the draft terms of reference circulated and stated that we will also write to those who were not able to attend to seek views. 

The Steering Group provided the following areas of feedback:

  • it was suggested that workshops may be useful to maximise the use of experience within the group and facilitate shared learning
  • important to be clear on what we mean by CWB
  • the group may wish to consider what outcomes it wants to achieve and what success looks like

The group confirmed they were content with the remit.

Role of group in consultation process – discussion

Stephen White, Head of CWB, provided a brief overview of the timeline for the development of CWB legislation: 

  • Programme for Government 2021 and recent NSET outlined the commitment to introduce legislation in this Parliamentary session
  • the timing of a public consultation will be confirmed and will focus on proposals which the group has had the opportunity to consider
  • the CWB Team will approach group members to plug into their networks to explore ideas for legislative change and the CWB Team are happy to organise one to one meetings or to meet in clusters

Mr Arthur invited views in relation to the timing of a consultation and members offered a preference for engaging later in the year on more defined legislative proposals. 

Any other business and date of next meeting

It was agreed that minutes could be shared beyond the group.

The CWB Team will be in touch with arrangements for the next meeting of the group.


  • CWB Team to explore options for potential workshops - SG CWB Team - 22 June 2022 
  • CWB Team to seek views on terms of reference from those not in attendance - SG CWB Team - 22 June 2022
  • CWB Team to seek initial views from Bill Steering Group on areas of focus required to accelerate CWB in Scotland - SG CWB Team/Steering Group - 22 June 2022
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