Key issues to consider

A CWB approach can help councils meet a range of duties including, for example:

  • Public Sector Equality Duty

  • Human rights

  • Fairer Scotland Duty

  • Tackling child poverty

  • The Procurement Reform Act, etc.

CWB pursues the twin ambitions of reducing economic and social inequity by creating good jobs where workers have stable employment conditions, voice and respect as well as a decent wage. A more democratic and engaged economy and society helps us to create the structures that allow us to live together as equals; and only when we relate as equals do we have the preconditions for flourishing democracy (fulfilling the intention of the Community Empowerment Act and supporting the direction of travel set out in the responses to the Local Governance Review). The values of equality and democracy, though distinct, are intimately related.

There are particular gender inequalities issues in the economy which CWB could help address. Low wage/low productivity in sectors where a majority of women work, such as retail and wholesale, hospitality and tourism, food and drink and health and social care, many in highly flexible or casual conditions (e.g. zero hours contracts) and largely part time can lead to greater levels of poverty for women, particularly female lone parents (tying into a key target group of the Child Poverty Act).

There is a need to improve the productivity of the economy and wages in this sector as well as valuing this kind of work and the work women are more likely to do in the home. Support of social enterprises and co-operatives could be one of the ways in which to do this (in addition to maximising income from benefits).

CWB could also go some way towards improving health inequalities via public health whole system approaches. As evidenced by the NHS Health Scotland Triple I tool, improving income has one of the biggest positive impacts on health inequalities. A focus on building a more equal share in prosperous economies across a community will improve public health.

Questions you could ask locally include:

  • Is your council using a community wealth building approach?

  • What are you already doing that could be considered community wealth building?

  • How does the council work with partner institutions to support CWB approaches?

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