Social Renewal Housing System Policy Circle minutes: 8 October 2020

Minutes of the 8 October meeting of the Social Renewal Housing System Policy Circle.

Attendees and apologies


Sally Thomas (Joint Chair)

Jon Sparkes (Joint Chair)

Cllr Elena Whitham

Craig Dalzell

Marsha Scott

Mark Stephens

Tony Cain

Shona Gorman

Hugh McClung (part of meeting)

Cassandra Dove

Catriona MacKean, SG

Naeem Bhatti, SG

Laura Dougan, SG

Kuan Loh, SG

Angela O’Brien, SG



Tom Barclay

John Mills

Nile Istephan

Nina Ballantyne

David Bookbinder

Margaret Irving, SG

Items and actions

1. Welcome and review of last meeting on 1 October

Sally welcomed everyone to the meeting. Apologies were noted. The minute of the previous meeting held on 1 October were agreed.

Sally confirmed that as always written comments from the chat bar at today’s meeting will be logged and taken in account in the work of the group.

2. Lived Experience – Interrogating and Prioritising Existing Research

Sally introduced this item which focused on how existing research could be interrogated to draw out lived experience material.

Naeem talked the group through a pro forma worked example that reviewed an existing piece of research that had been developed specifically for use by the HSPC.

There was general consensus that given the pace of work required the idea of mining data from existing research was a useful one. The pro forma could be used to draw out lived experience examples from existing research. It was agreed that an additional column on Policy / Practice Implications should be added to the pro forma.

The need to ensure that the least heard voices are prioritised in this process.

Jon agreed to provide a summary of the HARSAG lived experience work.

Naeem noted that number of existing research reports included within the resources document.


HSPC members were requested to identify a maximum of 5 – 10 pieces of research that should be the focus of this work. Responses by close Monday 12 October.

Additionally given the amount of work involved anyone able to contribute to the review should advise Naeem / Margaret via the HSPC mailbox.

3. Equalities

Catriona gave a brief presentation to the group that set out a worked example on the SG approach to ensuring that equalities principles are embedded in policy development work.

It was confirmed that this is a high level look that uses a traffic light process.

The following discussion points were noted:

  • Which factors of the housing experiences of disadvantaged groups do we need to consider further?
  • What additional context / information would the group like to have to support these considerations?

The group made a number of observations including:

  • The difference between increasing housing supply and access to housing;
  • Can a high level worked example focus sufficiently on individuals / specific disadvantaged groups;
  • To test this a concrete worked example would be useful – e.g. Gypsy / Travellers. This would be work that the group could do together
  • Taking a place based approach is crucial.
  • It was agreed that the slides should be circulated.


Group members were asked to provide their views on the top 10 recommendations in terms of the impact on equalities considerations by close on Monday 12 October. Additionally any volunteers who wish to take forward specific work strands should let Naeem know.

4. Developing our Recommendations for Social Renewal Advisory Board and Housing to 2040

Jon noted the need for the group to build on the Phase 1 recommendations, developing our understanding of how the existing housing system impacts on equality. Also on how lived experience of the system shows how it is / is not working.

The group’s focus has been on the Housing to 2040 principles and we have prioritised where we can add value to this work. Additionally this re-enforces the emerging recommendations from the SRAB.

Jon asked if the group could identify any similar or parallel policy / legislative areas. The group identified a wide range, including:

  • Equally Safe for principle 4;
  • The Place Principle for principle 9 plus the work being done to consider and improve cross tenure standards;
  • Members flagged the previously housing policy document Homes for the 21st Century as a useful source text;
  • Various climate change reports for principle 9
  • Place standard tool for principle 11


Any further thoughts to be sent to the HSPC mailbox by close Monday 12 October.

5. Next Steps

The work outlined during the course of today’s discussion will be taken forward.

6. Any Other Business / Date of Next Meeting

There was no other business. The next meeting of the group will be held on Thursday 15 October at 11:00 am.

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