Insightful Seminar on Achieving Impact with Community Benefit in Argyll & Bute from Foundation Scotland

Foundation Scotland held the third of their regional seminars on achieving impact with funds derived from wind farms in Kilmory Castle today, and as chair of CGDT I was privileged to be asked to make a presentation on how Community Benefit was managed in our community.

The whole event was extremely well facilitated by James Hilder, who provided a logical, fair and humorous context for the various presentations and discussions on the day. I’d had misgivings about spending another day away from work, but in this case I took away several highly valuable insights about the disbursement of Community Benefit and also, of course, on Community Development.

The first came from James himself with regard to maintaining community support for development organisations – he recommended a social audit whereby the organisation commissions an independent study on what affect it has had on the community – how far it has travelled towards achieving its objectives.

Another was the centrality of a community development or action plan in capturing a community’s aspirations over time – that this has to be a living document, and should be revised constantly. Not only that, but that Windfarm Trusts ought to re-examine their funding criterias regularly to ensure they align with the community action plan. Yes, these are obvious points, but sometimes in the mix of projects and endeavour, it is easy to miss out on the essential, foundation tasks.

Further, that there are grant-giving wind farm trusts which make their decisions in open session, rather than behind closed doors. This for me is the ultimate in transparency and I can see how this might usefully counteract accusations of cronyism in small, isolated communities.

And lastly, that the issues current here (like woeful broadband, reducing school rolls, ageing population and decreasing housing stock) are current everywhere, sometimes writ even larger – for example West Kintyre is even longer and more etiolated than ColGlen – and they get less money in total from four wind farms than our community for one.

 

I’ve included my notes from the presentation below – somewhat different from the SPREEE presentation at Holyrood in March given the context, but essentially the same story.

And apparently there’ll be a film later as well as the full presentation online. I’ll link to it when its published.

Continue reading Insightful Seminar on Achieving Impact with Community Benefit in Argyll & Bute from Foundation Scotland

Presentation for the Cross Party Group in the Scottish Parliament on Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency: Community Benefit from the Inside

CSDS_at_Holyrood{This presentation was given by me (right) alongside these images}

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This is mid-Glendaruel from the community owned forest – or rather one of our harvested coups. Gives you an idea of how glorious the place is. And here it is on the map.

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Colintraive and Glendaruel is a community of 350 people. We measure 28 miles Continue reading Presentation for the Cross Party Group in the Scottish Parliament on Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency: Community Benefit from the Inside

What do you think about Community Benefit and its effect on ColGlen?

spreeeI am giving a presentation to SPREEE, the Cross Party Group on Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency on Community Benefit from Windfarms from the inside. I’ve got info and feedback from the Windfarm Trust, but it would be great to have comments from community members in ColGlen – positive and / or negative – both are welcome!

Community Benefit from Renewables from the Inside

As chair of the Colintraive and Glendaruel Development Trust, an organisation which has benefitted from a small income or community benefit from the Cruach Mhor Windfarm Trust over the last decade, I have been asked to give a couple of presentations on our community’s experience. Of course I can provide a lot of feedback about what CBR has meant to our community, but I am also interested in sign-posting the experiences of other communities with regard to Community Benefit from Renewables so if anyone wishes to contribute, please leave a comment below!