This think piece reflects on the potential of multi-purpose, independent community-led organisations, often called community anchors, to lead on ‘highly localised’ service design and delivery, and related local economic, social and democratic developments.
The 2011 Christie Commission report argues for the roles of ‘community’ and third sector to be central to public service reform in Scotland, and illustrates a range of the ‘hows’ as to what this could be like.
This paper considers one such ‘how’: the potential of multi-purpose, independent community-led organisations, often called community anchors, to lead on ‘highly localised’ service design and delivery, and related local economic, social and democratic developments.
The first sections of this paper describe a common understanding of a community anchor ‘model’ as developing in Scotland and the UK, including the roles anchors play in practice and their position within policy-making.
Their relevance to the Christie Commission public reform agenda is then explored, and the opportunities that anchors offer community planning partnerships (CPPs) for joint-working and leading local development are illustrated. The crucial shift needed in the approach of CPPs to working with and supporting the community sector is then considered.
The paper concludes by pointing to the potential for community anchors to support the development of a distinctively local democratic approach to public service reform – a ‘Scottish approach’, for instance.
Download the publication
Author: James Henderson, What Works Scotland
Publication date: November 2015
Type of publication: Think piece
Reflecting on his Think Piece, in this blog post James Henderson from What Works Scotland, considers the potential for community anchors and the community sector to be central to local democratic and inequalities-focused approaches to public service reform in Scotland.
Transforming communities? Exploring the roles of community anchor organisations in public service reform, local democracy, community resilience and social change
This report explores the developing roles of key community sector organisations known as community anchors. It draws from six exemplar anchor organisations to explore their roles in engaging with, leading and challenging public service reform; how public services and the state can better support community anchors and community sector development; and the potential roles of anchors in building local democracy, community resilience for sustainable development, and wider social change.