Publication - Minutes

Social Renewal Advisory Board meeting: 5 August 2020

Minutes from the meeting of the group on 5 August 2020.

21 Aug 2020
Social Renewal Advisory Board meeting: 5 August 2020

Attendees and apologies

Chaired By:

  • Shirley-Anne Somerville (Cabinet Secretary for Social Security and Older People)


  • Anna Fowlie
  • Bill Scott
  • Cllr Alison Evison
  • Eileen Cawley
  • Etienne D’Aboville
  • Emma Ritch
  • Fiona Lees
  • Leigh Sparks
  • Lindsay Graham
  • Louise Macdonald
  • Satwat Rehman
  • Sally Thomas
  • Susan McPhee
  • Tressa Burke
  • Jim McCormick
  • Maureen Sier


  • Angela O’Hagan
  • Lisa Maclean
  • Jon Sparkes
  • Sabir Zazai
  • Neil McInroy

Items and actions


Shirley-Anne Somerville opened the meeting and thanked everyone for the huge amount of effort in such a short space of time, particularly in the summer months, which went into pulling together the recommendations.

Policy Circles Work – Proposals

Before welcoming Circle representatives to present their recommendations and ideas, Shirley-Anne Somerville outlined the process for how these ideas will be considered in the round for Programme for Government (PfG). It was advised that both Cabinet Secretaries would take on board both the recommendations and the feedback and use this to shape their discussions with Cabinet. It was noted that Board members should not be discouraged if all recommendations are not in the PfG as many of the ideas may need further consideration and refinement. There will be an opportunity to do so in the latter part of the work of the Board. Consideration was being given by officials to how the work of the Board to date could be captured and summarised.

Circle representative from the Age & Disability, Access to Finance, Housing System , Access to Food, Communities and Volunteering, Third Sector and the Community Led Place Based Renewal circle all gave a brief overview of their proposals with a discussion and comments from Board Member’s following.

Lived Experience – Paper from the Poverty Truth Commissions

A paper (available below) which had been drawn together by Poverty Truth Commissions in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee and North Ayrshire was shared in advance with the Board. The engagement heard from individuals experiencing poverty and inequality on the issues that are affecting them and the solutions they felt would support them.

Board members commented that it was reassuring that the issues which were clear in the report broadly mirrored discussions that were already taking place, and that the report contained rich and useful information. It was noted that touching base and hearing directly from communities was a useful way to be reminded of the human aspect of the issues we are tackling.  The value of the model of the Poverty Truth Commission was also noted – that by building relationships and trust the groups were able to hear much more in-depth stories from individuals than was possible through one-off engagement.

It was noted that it would be useful to see full summaries of the engagement to be able to perceive differences in areas. It would also add to the richness of information if structural factors like gender were able to be captured during engagement.


Shirley-Anne Somerville closed the meeting thanking Board Members again for the pace at which work had been delivered and for a fruitful and engaging discussion.