Conveners’ Blog – 24th October 2019
Welcome to our latest blog post where we can tell you more about what we’ve been doing over the past few weeks. The preparations for the first Assembly meeting are well underway and we wanted to update you with some of the highlights in our progress.
We have said all along that the Members are key to the Assembly and we’re excited that they have now been recruited.
The Secretariat have been in contact with every single one of them, giving them all the information they need and finding out if there is any additional support they need to participate fully in Assembly meetings. While we hope that all our Members are able to participate, recruitment will potentially continue until the Assembly first meets, to replace anyone that has to drop out in the interim.
Engaging with stakeholders
We continue to raise awareness of the Assembly by meeting stakeholders.
Kate recently met with the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) when they came to Edinburgh facilitated by the Health and Social Care Alliance (the Alliance). The Alliance is run for its 2,700 members and ensures that people who are disabled or living with long term conditions, their carers and third sector health and social care experts are influential in shaping policy and practice. The EESC aims to empower civil society organisations from EU Member States to express their views at European level. Kate was pleased to explain how the Citizens’ Assembly will work in Scotland to this engaging and interested audience.
David met with the Scottish Community Alliance (SCA) at their annual network meeting. This community focused organisation has a great reach across Scotland with its 100,000 individual members and over 2000 community based organisation members. The SCA has two main functions, to promote the work of local people in their communities and to influence national policy development. David was keen to make them aware of the work of the Assembly and for them to work with their members to raise awareness.
We continue to work on building cross party support from across the political spectrum and we had an interesting meeting with the Presiding Officer earlier this month. Kate also enjoyed hearing others views on Citizens’ Assemblies at the Festival of Politics in the Scottish Parliament earlier this month. She was pleased to answer a few questions on behalf of the Assembly. Finally on this theme, David used his inaugural lecture as Professor of Public Policy at Glasgow University’s Policy Scotland unit to talk about the Citizens’ Assembly, going into detail about how it will work, how recruitment was carried out, and the difference the Assembly will make. It was very positive to see the amount of interest in hearing about the Assembly. Those that attended asked many well considered, thoughtful questions.
It is only a few days to go until the Assembly first meets and we have begun our social media campaign to allow people across Scotland to follow the conversation.
Look out for our content on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Kate and David
Conveners of the Citizens’ Assembly of Scotland