SURF provides written and verbal evidence to relevant policy consultations conducted by the Scottish Government, the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (CoSLA), and Committees of the Scottish Parliament.

SURF members are regularly contacted for their views to inform the development of a SURF response on a particular consultation. Some of our response papers are available for download below.

2017: Land Rights and Responsibilities Statement

As a follow-up to the 2016 Land Reform (Scotland) Act, the Scottish Government consulted on a draft statement of guiding principles concerning the development of public policy on the nature and character of land rights and responsibilities in Scotland.

SURF Response – Land Rights & Responsibilities

2017: Glasgow Job Centre Closure Plans

The UK Government’s Department of Work and Pensions consulted in early 2017 on plans to close job centres in Glasgow’s Bridgeton, Castlemilk and Maryhill. SURF highlighted the deprivation levels in the three communities and requested that the plans be reconsidered in the context of community, poverty, business and service user impacts.

SURF Response – DWP Glasgow Job Centre Consultation

2016: Enterprise & Skills Review

SURF responded to a consultation on Scotland's enterprise & skills agencies in 2016

SURF responded to a consultation on Scotland’s enterprise & skills agencies in 2016

The Scottish Government carried out an ‘end to end’ review of its four enterprise and skills agencies (Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Skills Development Scotland, and the Scottish Funding Council) in mid-2016. SURF’s response to a call for evidence identified geographic and social/economic imbalances in the regeneration functions held by the two skills agencies.

Enterprise and Skills Review – SURF Response (Aug 2016)

2016: Supporter Involvement in Scottish Football

In September 2015, the Scottish Government launched a consultation on whether new rights for Scottish football supporters should be embedded into legislation on the back of the 2015 Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act, including the rights of fans to influence, govern, bid for or buy their local football club. SURF’s response is based on the outcomes of our 2007-08 investigation (see first leg and second leg reports) into the ‘intangible assets and goodwill’ around football clubs in Scotland and their potential to contribute further to local community regeneration activities.

SURF Response – Football & Community Empowerment (Jan 2016)

2013: Strengthening Local Democracy

In October 2013, CoSLA established an independent Commission on Strengthening Local Democracy with a view to improving local public services and accountability in Scotland, regardless of the outcome of the 2014 independence referendum. SURF responded to the Commission’s initial consultation with a general comment on ‘localism’ in regeneration and responses to set questions around community participation in local decision-making.

SURF response to COSLA Local Democracy Commission (Dec 2013)

2013: Scottish Planning Policy

In undertaking a review of its 2010 Scottish Planning Policy statement on nationally important land use, the Scottish Government invited public comment on a 2013 draft update. SURF’s response to this consultation welcomed the establishment of  ‘town centre health checks’ by local authorities, and argued for a greater focus on community engagement and monitoring & evaluation.

SURF Response – Scottish Planning Policy (July 2013)

2013: Inquiry into the Delivery of Regeneration in Scotland

This inquiry was initiated by the Scottish Parliament’s Local Government and Regeneration Committee. SURF’s response focused on: what regeneration is; whether physical, social and economic aspects of regeneration can be addressed separately; which delivery mechanisms are best-suited to sustainable community regeneration processes; what the Scottish Government could be doing differently to support community capacity building; and the most appropriate approaches to monitoring & evaluation.

The Scottish Government published a consultation paper on the Community Empowerment and Renewal Bill in 2012

The Scottish Government published a consultation paper on the Community Empowerment and Renewal Bill in 2012

SURF Response to Delivery of Regeneration in Scotland Inquiry

2012: Community Empowerment & Renewal Bill

SURF welcomed the Scottish Government’s announcement that it would use the legislative process to support greater community involvement in local delivery of regeneration and public services. In commenting on the 2012 consultation paper, SURF  said that any realistic aspirations for increasing community empowerment will require considerable investment and challenging discussions on local power and resources. We also answered set questions on the Community Planning process, community councils and ‘community right to buy’ legislation.

Scottish CERB – SURF Consultation Response

2012: Procurement Reform Bill

In August 2012, the Scottish Government consulted on the development of a Procurement Reform Bill for formal introduction to parliament the following year. SURF’s response to the questionnaire asserted that more could be done to secure meaningful and genuine community regeneration outcomes from the deployment of Scotland’s £9bn public procurement budget.

SURF Comment on Procurement Reform Bill Consultation

2011: National Regeneration Strategy

The Scottish Government conducted a wide-ranging consultation to inform the development of the Achieving a Sustainable Future National Regeneration Strategy, published in December 2011. In SURF’s June 2011 response to the related Building a Sustainable Future discussion paper, we highlighted shortcomings in past regeneration policy and argued that greater consideration should be given to issues of hyper-consumerism, poverty, health, housing refurbishment, and support for education and skills.

SURF Response – Regeneration Discussion Paper (June 2011)