About the People and Sector Connector Service

Based on its accumulated Alliance for Action experience and contacts, in addition to those in its wider networks, in 2019-21 SURF provided a free People and Sector Connector Service on an ongoing basis to regeneration-related practitioners and decision-makers in local and national government.

An element of the growing debate on public sector reform in Scotland concerns the costly and disruptive nature of organisational restructuring. The scale of that challenge and the day-to-day pressures on politicians and practitioners tends to undermine the prospects for substantial change. SURF believes that such change will evolve incrementally out of the combination of practical engagement of progressive people and processes.

The service is also intended to support regeneration policy enhancements in the new context, following a turbulent post-2008 period in which a considerable number of experienced and knowledgeable local authority regeneration officials have left the sector as a result of funding cuts, role reviews, departmental restructures and early retirements.

As opposed to normally compartmentalised Continuing Professional Development one-off training sessions, SURF’s approach is designed to share knowledge of ‘what works’ in community regeneration, and provide networking opportunities across sectors and geographies, as part of an ongoing, informal and bespoke developmental process.

Stakeholder Group Opportunity

SURF maintains a Stakeholder Group of up to 100 members. Stakeholder Group members were invited to participate in People and Sector Connector (PSC) Service activities in 2019-21. These members were given the opportunity to:

  • Attend quarterly stakeholder gatherings with guest presenters from SURF’s local Alliance for Action projects and senior regeneration experts;
  • Participate in quarterly facilitated study visits to selected Alliance for Action case study communities in Argyll & Bute, Dumfries & Galloway, Fife and Glasgow;
  • Contact the SURF team for any informal advice, signposting and enquiry responses related to the Alliance for Action or the wider community regeneration policy and practice landscape in Scotland.
  • Share contact details with each other with a view to developing informal cross-government networking in regeneration-related fields.

There is no cost to participation. In early 2020, SURF will also be arranging a special regeneration policy context workshop for elected members.

How to Get Involved

In 2021, the People and Sector Connector Service has evolved into the 20 Minute Neighbourhood Practice Network.

Event Outcome Papers

Land and Local Government – Held on the 25th September in the COSLA Conference Centre, Edinburgh.

Final Outcomes Paper – Land and Local Government

Final Outcomes Paper – Heritage-Based Regeneration

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