I am delighted to see that Action for Churches Together in Scotland (ACTS) will be hosting October 26, a conference where participants will be able to express to Alex Neil, MSP, Minister for Housing and Communities and Cllr Pat Watters, President of CoSLA their views on the relationship between local authorities and the Scottish Government. This relationship needs to be re-negotiated in light of the Coalition Government and its proposed budget cuts.
The conference will be a great opportunity for a real dialogue to start between service providers at community level, local authorities and the government. Churches have been in the business of providing social support and building up communities, long before theories of the welfare state were even imagined. Thousands of faith-based volunteers are currently providing social support throughout Scotland and this expertise and skills-base is not often acknowledged.
Our communities need to be prepared for the changes that will hit our social fabric. Resilience needs to be woven from within and churches are where they should be; right at the centre, building community.