Response 6414522

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A vision for culture in Scotland

1. What is your view of the Vision as set out above?

Please select one item
Ticked Support the vision
Don’t support the vision
Don’t know

2. If you have any further comments on the Vision, please provide them below. What do you like, or dislike, or what would you change?

If you have any further comments on the Vision, please provide them below. What do you like, or dislike, or what would you change?
Comhairle nan Eilean Siar welcome the vision for culture as a force for positive change in Scotland. ‘The Outer Hebrides Creative and Cultural Industries Strategy’ is titled to highlight the relationship between local creative activity and our strong regional culture which is defined by heritage, tradition, the Gaelic language and place. These are assets our islands are abundantly rich in and from which we derive significant, yet often undervalued, social and economic gain. In many regards the strengths, challenges and opportunities outlined in the national strategy document are reflected in microcosm within the Outer Hebrides; diverse activity ranging from traditional practice to innovation within a rapidly changing demography, an internationally respected and recognised cultural identity and challenges of geography and interconnectivity. We are supportive of the ambitious and all-inclusive vision set out in the national strategy which, if realised, will create the climate for us to further harness these assets for growth and prosperity as we tackle economic under-performance and depopulation.

Transforming through culture

3. What is your view of the ambition, ‘Transforming through culture’?

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Ticked Support ambition
Don’t support ambition
Don’t know

4. If you have further comments on the ambition, ‘Transforming through culture’, please provide them below. What do you like, or dislike, or what would you change?

If you have further comments on the ambition, ‘Transforming through culture’, please provide them below. What do you like, or dislike, or what would you change?
As a Local Authority area rich in cultural capital we are well placed to contribute to and very supportive of the proposals to ‘place culture as a central consideration across all policy areas, open up the potential of culture as a transformative opportunity and position culture as central to progress in health and wellbeing, economy, education, reducing inequality and realising a greener and more innovative future’. There are many aspects of the transformative culture agenda which are already embedded in our local policies and operational approaches, either by necessity, tradition or innovation. For example, the embedding of the Gaelic language across service provision (from education to social care), the formal partnership of community-led heritage organisations with statutory provision, the successful de-centralised operation of BBC ALBA from Stornoway, the fostering of cultural tourism to grow the visitor industry and the successful integration of minority belief groups within a community with an influential indigenous faith. As steps are taken to achieve the transformative ambition outlined, the knowledge and experience we have established regionally can offer examples of best practice and proven methodologies, as well as an opportunity to work collaboratively on new initiatives.

5. Please provide comments on the aims and actions under this ambition. What do you like, or dislike, or what would you change?

Please provide comments on the aims and actions under this ambition. What do you like, or dislike, or what would you change?
We particularly welcome the national aspiration to set a framework for ‘measuring an extended view of culture and better articulate the benefits of culture to society’. We would recommend that the commentary on ‘Culture and Technology’ (page 20 of the consultative draft) is broadened to include specific comment on issues of rural connectivity, access to superfast broadband and eradication of not-spots as these issues are instrumental in restricting economic growth in island areas.

Empowering through culture

6. What is your view of the ambition, ‘Empowering through culture’?

Please select one item
Ticked Support ambition
Don’t support ambition
Don’t know

7. If you have further comments on the ambition, ‘Empowering through culture’ please provide them below. What do you like, or dislike, or what would you change?

If you have further comments on the ambition, ‘Empowering through culture’ please provide them below. What do you like, or dislike, or what would you change?
The ambition to ‘open up and extend culture so that it is of, and for, every community and everyone’ is highly laudable and one which we as a Local Authority support. The aim of ‘extending the view of culture to include the everyday and emerging, the established and more formal’ bears resonance in our communities where respect for the continuity of established traditions remains high and is diversely evident in everything from agricultural practice to community events and burial practices. People within the islands cite such traditional behaviours as core to defining their cultural identity and this strategy’s commitment to recognising their importance is encouraging.

8. Please provide comments on the aims and actions under this ambition. What do you like, or dislike, or what would you change?

Please provide comments on the aims and actions under this ambition. What do you like, or dislike, or what would you change?
‘Developing opportunities for people to take part in culture throughout their lives’ is to be strived for but will require many resources but not least financial investment. The strategy acknowledges that ‘Local Authority Provision and support is the backbone of cultural infrastructure in Scotland’ but taken within the context of sharply contracting Local Authority budgets there are significant challenges for developing cradle to grave cultural access and the wider opportunities the national strategy aspires to. With regard to ‘recognising each community’s own local culture in generating a distinct sense of place, identity and confidence’ the Comhairle are encouraged by the strategy’s recognition of the challenges arising from geographic inequalities such as the additional cost of transporting people, goods and services. Reference to the Island’s (Scotland) Bill and the opportunity it presents to our region to begin redressing such inequalities is noted and welcomed. We would suggest that under ‘Communities and geography’ (page 28) there is the addition of text to read: “At the same time, certain parts of the country… are experiencing population decline, raising questions about how to retain populations, especially young people, in certain communities through job availability’…and promotion of quality of life in these areas”

Sustaining culture

9. What is your view of the ambition, ‘Sustaining culture’?

Please select one item
Ticked Support ambition
Don’t support ambition
Don’t know

10. If you have further comments on the ambition, ‘Sustaining culture’ please provide them below. What do you like, or dislike, or what would you change?

If you have further comments on the ambition, ‘Sustaining culture’ please provide them below. What do you like, or dislike, or what would you change?
The ambition to ‘sustain and nurture culture to flourish and evolve as a diverse, positive force in society across all of Scotland’ aligns closely with the local strategic objective: “The Outer Hebrides Creative and Cultural Strategy commits to support innovation and nurture talent so as to enable skills development and business growth within and environment in which culture flourishes and creative practice thrives”. Indeed, there is resonance between the local strategy and all the aims outlined under this theme which seeks to: ‘develop the conditions and skills for culture to thrive; value, trust and support creative people; encourage greater openness and diverse cultures to reflect a changing Scotland’.

11. Please provide comments on the aims and actions under this ambition. What do you like, or dislike, or what would you change?

Please provide comments on the aims and actions under this ambition. What do you like, or dislike, or what would you change?
The Comhairle share the perspective of the national strategy that the culture sector is key to economy and that this is particularly true around culture and heritage tourism, and the creative industries. The power of culture to stimulate economic growth is acknowledged within the document, as are the many ways creative industry growth relies on a strong and evolving cultural sector supported by public funding. Continuation of that public funding, administered in way which achieves geographic and sectoral equity, is vital to achieving the economic potential of the sector. The Comhairle particularly welcome the actions proposed at this section of the strategy which include intent to explore new funding models, develop partnerships and programmes to support skills development and support the freelance cultural workforce. We would like to see more detail emerge around the perceived role of community and voluntary sector groups and how improved internationalisation of cultural assets will be achieved.

Delivering A Culture Strategy for Scotland

12. Please provide details of any examples of good work and best practice, from Scotland or internationally, that you think could be included in the final strategy? We are interested in a range of different approaches.

Please provide details of any examples of good work and best practice, from Scotland or internationally, that you think could be included in the final strategy? We are interested in a range of different approaches.
Please see examples of embedded cultural practice currently happening in the Outer Hebrides as outlined at section 4. of this consultation response.

13. What can you or your organisation do to support the vision, aims, ambitions and actions of the strategy?

What can you or your organisation do to support the vision, aims, ambitions
As a Local Authority we are at the forefront of developing and delivering support to cultural and creative activity across our region, primarily through delivery of the aims, objectives and associated actions of the Outer Hebrides Creative & Cultural Strategy . We will continue to work with all stakeholders and partners to achieve this and in turn support the national agenda.

14. What do you think success for the strategy will look like?

What do you think success for the strategy will look like?
From our regional perspective, success for the strategy will comprise a mix of quantitive and qualitative outcomes, including but not limited to – increased quality employment opportunities within the sector (especially those requiring Gaelic) and the available workforce to fulfil them; increased investment in Gaelic media output (including social media); higher numbers of creative practitioners locally who are able to work full-time in their craft; evidence of embedded planning for cultural and creative activity in the design and delivery of new built infrastructure such as care-homes, social housing and facilities for young people; more and varied intergeneration projects; preservation and interpretation of heritage assets. Ultimately if the rich cultural assets of the Outer Hebrides can be harnessed to contribute meaningfully to economic and population gain in the islands we will consider the Strategy to have been a success for this corner of Scotland.

Monitoring the Impact of the Strategy

15. What is your view of the proposed approach to monitoring and evaluating the strategy set out in section 5?

Please select one item
Ticked Support approach
Don’t support approach
Don’t know

16. If you have further comments on the proposed monitoring and evaluation approach, please provide them below.

If you have further comments on the proposed monitoring and evaluation approach, please provide them below.
The proposed methodology for monitoring and evaluating the strategy is extremely interesting and we are open to informing how it is shaped and subsequently how it is applied locally.

Other comments

17. Please use this section to provide any other comments that you wish to share about the strategy.

Please use this section to provide any other comments that you wish to share about the strategy.
At Annex B. ‘Funding Culture in Scotland’ Scottish Enterprise are specifically mentioned as ‘providing a range of support for new and developing businesses across Scotland’. This statement should be amended to also incorporate the role of Highlands and Islands Enterprise which delivers the same function as SE but also supports community development across the region.

Impact Assessments

18. Do you think the partial Equality Impact Assessment has identified where the strategy might impact on people differently depending on characteristics such as age, disability, gender, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation or gender identity?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No
Don't know

19. If you have further comments on the Equality Impact Assessment, please provide them below. For example, what would you add or change?

If you have further comments on the Equality Impact Assessment, please provide them below. For example, what would you add or change?
The Comhairle accept and support the strategy assessment around Equality Impact.

20. Do you think the partial Children’s Rights and Welfare Impact Assessment sets out how the proposals presented in the strategy might impact on the rights and welfare of children?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No
Don't know

21. If you have further comments on the Children’s Rights and Welfare Impact Assessment, please provide them below. For example, what would you add or change?

If you have further comments on the Children’s Rights and Welfare Impact Assessment, please provide them below. For example, what would you add or change?
The Comhairle accept and support the strategy assessment around Children’s Rights,

22. How do you think this strategy might impact upon people on low incomes, people living in deprived areas, people in material deprivation, people with no / or low wealth and people from different socio-economic backgrounds? Please provide comments below.

How do you think this strategy might impact upon people on low incomes, people living in deprived areas, people in material deprivation, people with no / or low wealth and people from different socio-economic backgrounds? Please provide comments below.
If the ambitions outlined within the strategy are even partially achieved it could immensely improve the quality of life, health and prospects of those on low incomes. Incontrovertible research has proven the benefit creativity can have on mitigating against the consequences of economic poverty; the challenge lies in making the shift from studying such approaches to mainstreaming them. If the strategy can deliver successfully on using everyday culture that people relate to and invest pride in as a springboard to new opportunities it will have demonstrable benefit for those living in deprived areas.

23. Do you think the partial Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment identifies how the proposals presented in the Strategy might impact on businesses, the third (voluntary) sector or have any regulatory impact?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No
Don't know

24. If you have further comments on the Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment, please provide them below. For example, what would you add or change?

If you have further comments on the Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment, please provide them below. For example, what would you add or change?
The Comhairle accept and support the strategy assessment around Business and Regulatory impact.

About you

Are you responding as an individual or an organisation?

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What is your organisation?

Organisation
Comhairle nan Eilean Siar