I can’t believe it’s six months since the Rural Parliament in Stranraer. Time has really flown by, perhaps because Scottish Rural Action has been so busy.
At the Rural Parliament, you helped to elect new members to join the board of trustees. These volunteers are responsible for overseeing the work of SRA and for setting the strategic direction. We sometimes call them directors or board members: all similar terms for our charity trustees.
Starting at the end of January, the SRA Board has been reviewing the last year and seeing what went well and what could be improved. We had some considerable successes, thanks to our members and supporters who participated in consultations, events and other engagements.
At the Rural Parliament, we set out 10 things that we wanted action on regarding Brexit and we also identified some key findings that you want us to take forward:
- Local Decision Making
- Transparent Policy Making, especially regarding rural issues
- A Strong Rural Voice
- Support for Community Empowerment
- Rural Communities as Agents of Change
- More Knowledge Sharing
It is the role of the SRA Board to create a strategic plan that can deliver on all of these findings, so the trustees have all be working hard to do that. We started with a workshop day that encouraged us to review our vision statement:
To help improve the lives of people and communities in rural Scotland
and reduce rural inequality.
From there all the trustees worked together to create a strategy that will lead into the Action Plan for 2019-2020. It was the first time some of our trustees have been involved with this kind of activity, but it was a good learning experience for all of us. One of the highlights was a decision to have a more regional approach and to work with local coordinators to really understand things at grassroots level.
We will be publishing our Action Plan in July and look forward to hearing your responses.
In the meantime, we have a new short-term working group set up, as decided at the Rural Parliament, to look at Climate Change. We don’t intend to replicate the good work done by the many organisations out there who are already working on this, but to look at where we can bring a specific rural aspect to the work that will be useful to all of us living in rural Scotland. If you’re interested in participating in that group, get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org she will explain more.
There are a lot of consultations going on at the moment. For people in the south of Scotland, there are consultation events about the new enterprise agency happening across the region. We’re particularly interested in the national ones on rural planning and human rights. You can find out more on the website or get in touch with me if you would like to help shape our response.
Best wishes to you all,