Why a SURF Manifesto?

Since its formation in 1992, SURF has always done more than connect, and provide services to, its 300 cross-sector member organisations and over 3000 individual contacts. We also draw on the views, experience and knowledge of that diverse network to positively influence policy and practice in community regeneration across Scotland.

A central element in that process involves SURF consulting widely in preparing a manifesto, which it then promotes and debates in advance of each Scottish Parliament election. The Manifesto sets out the reality of the contemporary regeneration context and what SURF members want the Scottish Government to do differently in response to priority problems and opportunities.

They are then formally submitted to political parties and widely promoted, in advance of each election. Each manifesto is designed to focus on a complementary set of practical policy recommendations, which link physical, social and economic regeneration. SURF follows up on the outcomes of this dedicated effort via its broader and continuous programme of work. This helps to inform and influence the policies, processes and investments of the Scottish Government, local government and relevant agencies.

Read the Manifesto

SURF’s 2021 Manifesto recommendations are centred on the key themes of climate change, land use, transport, and place-based collaboration. Please click on the link below to download it:

2021 SURF Manifesto for Community Regeneration

Watch the Debate

SURF’s Manifesto was the subject of a digital debate with representatives of the main political parties in the weeks leading up to the 2021 Scottish Parliament elections. The event brought together 60 cross-sector SURF network participants and five senior politicians to exchange on Manifesto recommendations and themes.

The debate can be viewed in full on SURF’s YouTube channel. A summary report is also available at the following link:

SURF Scottish Election Question Time – Event Report

The Development Process

SURF’s 2021 Manifesto was inclusively developed over a nine month period of intense consultation activity in 2020/21.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, consultations took the form of telephone interviews, video discussions and email exchanges with key SURF members in particular sectors, and desk-based research that drew out learning outcomes from recent SURF events and projects, and appropriate policy recommendations from relevant independent reports.

Participants in the 2020 SURF Annual Conference also had the opportunity to discuss and vote on emerging messages. The 2021 Manifesto was presented to Scotland’s main political parties in early 2021 to inform their internal policy manifesto development processes in the run-up to the May 2021 Scottish Parliament elections.

SURF’s manifesto also formed the basis for a 2021 Scottish Regeneration Question Time husting-style debate with guest politicians. Taking place on 15 April 2021, this event provided SURF members with the opportunity to ask party representatives for a response to the recommendations.

Briefing Papers

SURF has produced a series of eight background papers on manifesto themes.

Each briefing paper features a policy context and suggested questions for each of the specific themes we are investigating, as well as general information on the consultation process.

They are available for download below:

Poverty & Inequality – SURF 2021 Manifesto Briefing

Inclusive Growth – SURF 2021 Manifesto Briefing

Culture & Heritage – SURF 2021 Manifesto Briefing

Climate Crisis – SURF 2021 Manifesto Briefing

Transport – SURF 2021 Manifesto Briefing

Housing – SURF 2021 Manifesto Briefing

Community Led Regeneration – SURF 2021 Manifesto Briefing

Land, Place & Planning – SURF 2021 Manifesto Briefing

SURF Contacts

Please contact Derek Rankine (derek@surf.scot), Policy Manager at SURF if you have any queries about SURF’s 2021 Manifesto, or the consultation process behind it. Previous SURF manifestos can be viewed here.

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