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If Not Now, When? The Social Renewal Advisory Board Report January 2021

21st January 2021

Published today 21 Janury2021 - The Social Renewal Advisory Board was set up by Scottish Ministers to make proposals that can renew Scotland once we start to emerge from the pandemic. The final report "If not now, when?", sets a course towards this future.

This report is a lengthy read with lots links to other reports but will point you to the conditions face by many people in Scotland.

The Social Renewal Advisory Board was set up by Scottish Ministers to make proposals that can renew Scotland once we start to emerge from the pandemic. At the time of writing, the pandemic is very much still with us, and evolving in deeply concerning ways, but we should not wait for this crisis to be over to begin to learn its lessons. Indeed, many of the challenges facing public health have been exacerbated by the structural inequalities this report is seeking to address. We must begin to plan and to act now.

The Board met 11 times between June 2020 and January 2021 to develop its ideas. In that time, through a collaborative approach, we've been helped by nine policy groups and a wide range of public engagement activity, including community listening events across 31 local authority areas, four discussions with Poverty Truth Commissions, a set of 'focus groups' (Deep Dive events) with equality groups, and over 100 responses from organisations to a call for evidence and ideas.

Social Renewal Advisory Board - Calls To Action
Money and Work
1. Commit to a Minimum Income Guarantee for all as a long-term aim.

2. Develop an approach to anti-poverty work, including personal debt, that is designed around the needs of the individual.

3. Work in partnership to develop a new social contract on Fair Work.

4. Focus Fair Work actions on those most affected by the pandemic.

5. Extend free early learning, childcare and social care so all parents and carers can access the childcare they need, when they need it.

People, Rights and Advancing Equality
6. Incorporate the right to an adequate and accessible home in Scots Law.

7. Make sure there are enough homes that are safe, warm, accessible, affordable, and in places people want to live.

8. Ensure everyone can access nutritious, culturally appropriate and affordable food.

9. Set a target to end digital exclusion in the next parliamentary term.

10. Adopt the principles of Universal Basic Services.

11. Incorporate key international human rights instruments into Scots Law so as to deliver real change.

12. Take action to realise the human rights of disabled people.

13. Build inclusive communication into all national and local government funding requirements.

14. Strengthen approaches to prevent and address hate crime and public sexual harassment.

15. Apply the rights and entitlements in this report to all migrants.

Communities and collective endeavour
16. Further shift the balance of power so individuals and communities have more control over decisions that affect their lives.

17. Improve service delivery and design by empowering frontline teams and the people and communities they serve.

18. Build on new ways of working, based on what has worked well during the pandemic, and develop new arrangements for local governance.

19. Focus everyone and all activities on building more resilient, fairer, healthier and stronger communities and places.

Closing The Gap Between Promise and Practice
20. Co-design how we assess progress towards renewal, incorporating deeper engagement with those people and communities who have first-hand experience of poverty, inequality and restricted life chances.

The above topics are expanded in great detail within the full report.

Read the full report HERE