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Expert panel will help Council drive Community Wealth Building plans
Home   News   Expert panel will help Council drive Community Wealth Building plans

Expert panel will help Council drive Community Wealth Building plans

Posted on 21 May 2020

A TEAM of leading economic experts focused on Community Wealth Building will help assist the Council as they press ahead with ambitious plans for North Ayrshire.

The Council launched their bold Community Wealth Building Strategy last Thursday – becoming the first in Scotland to adopt this economic approach - as they set out their radical new vision for shaping the economy now and post Covid-19.

 The strategy sets out how the Council and other ‘anchor’ organisations – including NHS Ayrshire and Arran, Ayrshire College and wider partners - will work in partnership with communities and businesses to build a strong local economy which supports fair work, encourages local spend and uses the land and property we own for the common good.

 And with such a new, different ‘take’ on how to galvanise and overhaul the local economy, the Council has enlisted the support of some important and well respected economic thinkers who lead in aspects of Community Wealth Building from across the globe.

Leading the Expert Panel – which met for the first time yesterday – will be Sarah Deas.

Sarah is passionate about creating a progressive economy – one that delvers for the people and the planet – and is a Trustee of the Wellbeing Economy Alliance (Scotland) and Visiting Professor, Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship, University of Strathclyde.

 She said: “The vital work that North Ayrshire is doing in pioneering local economic development is even more important in these challenging times. I'm delighted to chair this expert advisory panel which will act as a critical friend in developing a model that spreads wealth within the community."

Councillor Joe Cullinane, Leader of North Ayrshire Council, said: “Our CWB approach has to deliver for the people of North Ayrshire.

“Our Strategy is very ambitious and given we are the first in Scotland to implement this approach, I have invited a group of highly experienced individuals who bring a range of perspectives on Community Wealth Building, wellbeing economy and climate change to help guide the next steps of our Community Wealth Building journey.

“This is one of the most progressive panels of economic experts that has been put together anywhere and we will tap into all their knowledge to put our CWB ambitions into action to deliver our new economic model. The knowledge, perspectives and ideas they bring will be important and timely given the economic crisis we are currently facing, and the climate crisis we’ll face moving forward”

Joining Sarah on the Expert Panel is Miriam Brett, Director of Research and Advocacy at Common Wealth think tank, Joe Guinan, Vice President of Theory, Research & Policy, The Democracy Collaborative,  Laurie Macfarlane Economics Editor at openDemocracy and fellow at University College London’s Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose,  Ian Mitchell Chief Executive, Community Enterprise in Scotland (CEIS), Jess Thomas, Senior Programme Leader for place based economic development at  Co-operatives UK and  Roz Foyer, the General Secretary of the Scottish Trade Union Council.

 Also joining the Expert Panel are Sarah McKinley, Director for European Programs for The Democracy Collaborative and he European Representative for the Next System Project and Neil McInroy, Chief Executive from the Centre for Economic Strategies. Both took part in last week’s live online launch.

As well as acting as a critical friend and sounding board, the Panel will help review the Council’s CWB Strategy as it moves forward. They will bring ideas and lessons from CWB best practice from elsewhere in the UK and internationally to the CWB Commission – the group of Council services and anchor institutions who will delivery the strategy.

They will advise on approach to plural ownership and diversifying business models -  including social enterprise, cooperatives, municipal ownership and community enterprises – and contribute wider policy knowledge on the wellbeing economy and climate change.

Joe Guinan, Vice President, The Democracy Collaborative, Washington, D.C. “The world needs more innovative new models and approaches as we move to repair and rebuild our broken local economies. With their new Community Wealth Building Strategy, North Ayrshire is at the tip of the spear internationally in attempting to create a more equal and democratic economy from the ground up. It is an honour to advise them on this important work.”