Publication - Minutes

Social Renewal Advisory Board minutes: 17 June 2020

Minutes from the meeting of the group on 17 June 2020.

25 Jun 2020
Social Renewal Advisory Board minutes: 17 June 2020

Attendees and apologies

Chaired by:

  • Aileen Campbell (Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government)
  • Shirley Anne Somerville (Cabinet Secretary for Social Security and Older People)


  • Angela O’Hagan
  • Anna Fowlie
  • Bill Scott
  • Cllr Alison Evison (COSLA)
  • Eileen Cawley
  • Emma Ritch 
  • Etienne D’Aboville
  • Fiona Lees (SOLACE)
  • Jim McCormick
  • Jon Sparkes
  • Leigh Sparks
  • Lindsay Graham
  • Lisa Maclean
  • Louise Macdonald
  • Maureen Sier
  • Neil McInroy
  • Sabir Zazai
  • Satwat Rehman
  • Sally Thomas
  • Susan McPhee
  • Tressa Burke 

Items and actions


Shirley-Anne Somerville MSP welcomed the group and offered thanks for their agreement in being part of the work. 

Overview of the Board

Aileen Campbell MSP provided an overview of the role of the board and the expectations on each of the members. An outline of the proposed timescales was given, alongside rough dates for upcoming meetings, feeding into Programme for Government.

Discussion: Principles of the Board

The Board members welcomed the draft principles, with some comments:

  • when using the Place Principle, we need to be clear that this will mean outcomes won’t be the same across Scotland, each area will have differing needs
  • the Place Principle needs to be carefully applied – ensuring geographical differences are accommodated and equalities impacts are understood
  • the mainstreaming of equality and human rights was welcomed

Discussion: 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 Board considered the draft circles and reflected on how these would work in practice.

Points raised:

  • the National Performance Framework provides a useful platform and must be an organising factor in this work
  • the work must not be undertaken in isolation, an intersectional approach is needed
  • the importance of both fair work and mental health and needs to be captured in the work of the Board
  • effects on children and young people should be considered across the circles
  • data and evidence must be used beyond typical boundaries – cross-cutting impacts should be considered

Discussion: lived experience

Key to the work of the Board is ensuring that those with lived experience are right at the heart of discussions. Engagement must not be approached in a tokenistic way and throughout the process people must be supported to engage effectively.

A number of methods exist for engaging those with lived experience and the board discussed which would be best suited to use for their work and some practicalities.

Points raised:

  • there are a number of examples of good engagement with those with lived experience, such as the Social Security Experience Panels and the People Led Policy Panel involved in the Social Care reform programme
  • working to tight timelines and the capacity of the Board must be considered but it must not be a tick box exercise
  • potential for a reference group running alongside the work of the Board – which engages and offers insights in parallel
  • current COVID-19 measures and digital exclusion may be a barrier
  • there may be many people who do not currently engage or who have only recently seen their circumstances change – we need to consider what we don’t know and who we don’t know


Next meeting intended for early July.