Current Examples of Community Decision-Making
Mull & Iona Community Trust
For 22 years Mull & Iona Community Trust has been delivering successful community development projects and addressing problems of geographic isolation and economic and social exclusion in remote and rural communitieswhich are the home of over 3,000 people.
We currently employ 26 people and work with a range of public, private and third sector partners. Crucially we work within our own community and take great pride in this. Some of our achievements are that we:
- Built Tobermory Light Industrial Park, a £2m estate, to support small business sustainability and development in North Mull.
- Built and run An Roth ("the wheel" in Gaelic) Community and Enterprise Centre which offers flexible space for community and business meetings, a wide range of training courses, and conferences.
- Operate three recycling charity shops, beach cleaning stations and various composters, including one at industrial scale, preventing 60 tonnes per annum going to landfill.
- Built and run a £1m hydro scheme which is generating funding for community projects.
- Developed a swimming pool with a local hotel by raising money and project managing the build.
- Bought 200 hectares of forest with wood harvesting and replanting due to begin soon.
- Operated a ferry service that was previously run by the council until the funding ended.
We have good relationships with partners, but decision-making processes can be slow and hard to predict. More decisions taken by the community, including how resources are deployed, could better support and improve important services on Mull and Iona.
Healthy n Happy
Healthy n Happy is the community development trust for Cambuslang and Rutherglen, a diverse urban area with a combined population of 57,000 and affected by significant deprivation and inequality.
Our vision is that Cambuslang and Rutherglen will become the healthiest and happiest places to live in Scotland. We are a community-owned organisation established in 2002, governed by local people, and steered by local priorities. Some of our achievements include:
- Facilitating direct investment into communities. Over the past four years
we have been able to lever in £2.6m direct investment into local communities across Cambuslang and Rutherglen.
- Providing purposeful and engaging opportunities such as volunteering (290 per year), skill building courses, mental health and stress management support, play-based activities for children/young people and families through to healthy living, social and community activities.
- Enabling people to make positive changes in their lives and their community, from building confidence and self-esteem, to boosting skills and relationships, to getting more involved in their local neighbourhood and becoming more responsible for their own health and wellbeing.
- Three successful social enterprise businesses: Camglen radio station, Bike Town cycle shop and recycling project, and our community venue, Number 18.
We want to see more opportunity, power and budget resting directly with communities. This means sustained grassroots investment, at scale, in order to provide far greater influence, control and freedom to act according to local circumstances and perspectives, and employ more community-designed solutions. This requires a major shift in policy and mindset It would also strengthen the relationship with public sector partners and help them to improve outcomes which they are best placed to deliver.
WATIF - Woolfords, Auchengray and Tarbrax Improvement Foundation
Our vision is of a beautiful and vibrant place, with a great quality of life for all. Established in 2011, Woolfords, Auchengray and Tarbrax Improvement Foundation is based in rural Clydesdale at the edge of the Pentland hills. Our community development trust was set up to negotiate community benefit money from windfarms, helping us to address the challenges and unmet needs of our community. We have had considerable success in developing projects to date including:
- Providing a local subsidised taxi bus service, and our community electric bus also takes our residents to their healthcare appointments outwith our area.
- Providing a community satellite broadband service and offer vouchers to residents to assist them with their installation costs.
- Opening a community shop and larder to support our residents.
- Purchasing and developing a derelict property providing an affordable rental home for a local young family.
- Providing grant schemes for further education students, local community improvements and driving lessons with over 100 individuals and organisations benefiting to date.
We are soon to purchase land and buildings, which will enable us to support local sustainable economic, environmental, and social development which is one of our strategic objectives. Increased decision making will allow us to have more control and will assist us in achieving this objective.
We know what matters locally, and we need to be involved in the decisions that affect our lives to ensure our community thrives and becomes more sustainable. Sustained funding is also essential to achieve this.
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