Sector 'left out of local policy agreements' in Scotland

Senscot and Scottish Social Enterprise Coalition study finds little reference to social enterprises and community organisations

Grass-roots third sector organisations have been neglected in the agreements that govern the priorities of local government in Scotland, umbrella bodies have claimed.

A study by social enterprise umbrella bodies Senscot and the Scottish Social Enterprise Coalition found that social enterprise was not mentioned at all in 11 of the 32 single-outcome agreements between central government and community planning partnerships, which are alliances of local authorities and other statutory bodies.

It was mentioned only "very briefly" in 10 more of the agreements, which were finalised earlier this year, the study said.

"It's a pretty bleak picture, particularly among the city authorities," said a Senscot spokesman. "For all the Scottish Government's talk and action at national level, the message isn't filtering down to local authorities."

Local People Leading, a campaign group for community organisations, said that the 2009 single-outcome agreements contained "barely a mention of the community sector".

It said most agreements talked about community engagement, but there was little reference to community organisations or to any specific actions to increase the involvement of community representatives.

Scottish third sector umbrella body the SCVO said there was no research available on whether other parts of the third sector had been mentioned in the agreements.

No one from council umbrella body Cosla was available for comment.

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