Coronavirus (COVID-19) Covid Recovery Strategy Programme Board minutes:16 March 2022

Minutes for the meeting of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Recovery Strategy Programme Board, held on 15 December 2021.

Attendees and apologies


  • Cllr Alison Evison, COSLA President
  • John Swinney, Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Covid Recovery

Board members

  • Linda Bauld, Chief Social Policy Advisor, Scottish Government
  • Sandy Begbie, Chief Executive of Scottish Financial Enterprise
  • Gregory Colgan, Chief Executive, Dundee City Council
  • Anna Fowlie, Chief Executive, SCVO
  • Scott Heald, Director of Data Driven Innovation, Public Health Scotland
  • Cllr Graham Houston, Vice-President, COSLA
  • Paul Johnston, Director General, Communities, Scottish Government
  • Andrew Kerr, Chair, SOLACE
  • Richard Lochhead, Minister for Just Transition, Employment & Fair Work
  • Sally Loudon, Chief Executive, COSLA
  • Louise Macdonald, National Director of the Institute of Directors Scotland
  • Mary McAllan, Director, Covid Recovery Strategy Directorate, Scottish Government
  • Shona Robison, Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Housing & Local Government


  • Kate Forbes, Cabinet Secretary for Finance
  • Angela Leitch, Public Health Scotland

Items and actions

Items and actions

Summary of discussion points

The board discussed the actions on fair work and employment and agreed they should not focus solely on living wage, and should also consider all aspects of fair work, such as the precarious nature of employment and living hours, especially during this period of unprecedented inflation and energy crisis.

Attendees noted that further work was required to provide a joint perspective on the delivery reporting summary and highlighted the importance of focussing on the outcomes of delivery, as well as monitoring the milestones. 

The board discussed the approach to prioritisation of strategy actions which would most likely have the greatest impact. The prioritisation should build on the initial work carried out by the Scottish Government team and take input from members. Any prioritisation work must actively consider equalities implications.

The board noted that successful identification of good practice required co-creation from organisations represented by board members, to identify characteristics of successful person centred delivery and developing guidance and examples using this to collectively challenge partners as to whether excellence was being achieved.

The suggested approach of prioritising of strategy actions was welcomed by the board however members would have to be satisfied that services would be developed appropriately across the country and noted the need to ensure sufficient engagement activities around all communities to deliver real impact. Work should be carried out to identify where increased engagement in all localities and partnerships would be required. 

The board discussed some commonly identified issues in the delivery of person centred, outcome led services within the Covid Recovery Strategy however none of these issues preclude change and movement towards effective delivery of person centred services. It was noted that there was strong practice and potential for growth within the existing system and to maximise implementation of service decision making, around the person, further work may be needed in key areas.

Challenges for service delivery, particularly in the third sector, were discussed, and the impact on precarity of employment for some third sector employees was noted, as well as the impact on developing long term and in depth relationships with communities. The board discussed that alongside advocacy of longer-term funding, considerations must be given on how to ensure funding is provided and used in a way which achieves the best outcomes and efficiencies.


The board agreed to:

  • note the commitment on further development of outcome frameworks and delivery reporting by the next meeting
  • note the intention to work with partners to develop further prioritisation and integration
  • highlight, by the end of the month, any further key areas of work which they feel represent excellence in the type of service delivery required by the programme and mandate collective work to take forward engagement at community level and to share material and encourage further action
  • identify any further potential partnership projects where lending the collective support of the programme could add value
  • further discuss the issues raised around funding, and agree the need for partners to address these
  • note the key issues of data sharing, funding and accountability, and scalability of ways of working are relevant to the programme, and that the officials group should develop a joint work plan to address these, to be pursued collectively by partners
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