Publication - Minutes

Social Renewal Advisory Board meeting: 7 October 2020

Minutes from the meeting of the group on 7 October 2020.

30 Nov 2020
Social Renewal Advisory Board meeting: 7 October 2020

Attendees and apologies

Chaired by:

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


  • Angela O’Hagan
  • Anna Fowlie
  • Bill Scott
  • Elena Whitham (as replacement for Cllr Alison Evison)
  • Emma Ritch
  • Etienne D’Aboville
  • Eileen Cawley
  • Fiona Lees
  • Leigh Sparks
  • Lindsay Graham
  • Louise Macdonald
  • Maureen Sier
  • Russell Gunson
  • Sabir Zazai
  • Sally Thomas
  • Satwat Rehman
  • Tressa Burke 


  • Neil McInroy
  • Cllr Alison Evison
  • Jim McCormick
  • Jon Sparkes
  • Lisa Maclean
  • Susan McPhee

Items and actions


Aileen Campbell welcomed the Board to the meeting, noting that the work of the board was especially pertinent during this week - Challenge Poverty Week. 

Presentation and Provocation: Low Income, Food and Financial Security Circle (Chaired by Satwat Rehman)

The Chair led a discussion which began with a presentation from a representative from each circle - Lindsay Graham (Food), Russell Gunson (Financial Security) and Bill Scott (Low Income). Each presentation provided a summary of the work that had taken place in their circles to date and an overview of the work they were hoping to take forward to the end of the Board process.  Areas of overlap between each of the circles were identified and it was highlighted that by looking at the interconnections we can identify both solutions and how the experience affects different groups in different ways. 

The Chair then led a discussion with questions and provocations used to focus the discussion on solutions and implementation of solutions. Board members highlighted that dignity, agency and self-determination was critical across all of the issues discussed. The importance of using the levers and powers that were available was reinforced, with the equity of the economy questioned – does it really serve the interests of all? Systems need to be built around equality, rather than it being an add-on or afterthought. In practical terms, the discussion also focussed on what may need to stop, so that other things can be achieved and how decisions like this are made. The idea of a shift change in attitudes towards specific occupations was highlighted, such as carers, and that this should be built upon to reimagine tax structures and the rebalancing of wealth.

At the end of the discussion, Aileen Campbell summarised and thanked Board Members for their input, advising that as always it was an extremely valuable discussion. 

Approach to final reporting

Shirley-Anne Somerville led a discussion on how the Board will manage its final output and what form it will take. A paper highlighting the proposed approach to the final report of the Board was shared in advance with Board Member’s having the opportunity to comment. Ms Somerville thanked Member’s for their insights and advised that written comments will also be accepted via the secretariat.


Aileen Campbell closed the meeting, thanking the Board Members once again for their attendance.