Senscot Bulletin 05-03-2004



Dear members and friends,


My pal Jaime phones – he’s
off to view an old mill for sale near Ronda. 
Out Saturday – back Monday – can I come?  Add up flight + hotel + meals – nearly £300.  No way I can justify that for three
days.  Phone back – “Where will we
meet?”  Call other equally mad friend –
“Where will we meet?”  She says.  We agree on the plane – it’s the weather
that makes the difference.  When we
arrive, Spain is absolutely freezing – nothing to wear.

            Ronda is built on an isolated ridge in the Sierra – split
in half by a gaping river gorge unmatched for natural drama – romance.  Arrive as darkness falls – even colder up
here.  Our hotel is a spectacular
renaissance mansion in the old Moorish Quarter.  Receptionist warns – parking is difficult – until Lent begins on
Wednesday – it’s Carnival.  Inching
through intricate maze of alleys around cathedral searching for a space – car
jostled by laughing youngsters, dressed as witches and ghosts.  Guy in semi uniform – very friendly –
beckons us forward.  Carefully steers us
between cars – down long narrow close – sharp turn through ancient stone
arch.  “We’ll need to give him
something”.  Arrive in an ancient
cloister – dead end – what’s going on? 
Nun emerges from gatehouse – alarmed – starts berating our guide – we
all get out.  It seems our parking
attendant, Salvador, is ‘looked after’ – along with 20 other residents – in
this convent.  He seems very proud to
have ‘fetched’ us.  We all – including
Salvador and Sister Ana – have a great laugh – Que empiece el carnival!  (Let the carnival begin!)



debate about how the Local Enterprise Companies (LECs) treat the social economy
will continue for a long time. The recent research into Social Entrepreneurship
in Scotland by the University of Strathclyde has a preface by Terry Currie –
Director of Small Business Services at Scottish Enterprise. He says some
encouraging stuff like, “In recent years, returns to the wider community have
been seen as equally valid return from entrepreneurial activity as wealth
creation and profit.”  Unfortunately,
his reference at the end to NCVO instead of SCVO leaves the uneasy suspicion
that he lifted it from an English equivalent (
This is not the feeling you’ll get from Chris Higgins’ letter, which explains
HIE’s position towards social enterprises and deals with the Lismore Island
case in particular. (



financial journalist/campaigner Antonia Swinson first started trawling the idea
of a land tax – folk laughed. They’re not laughing now. This week’s
Regeneration magazine editorial gives a snapshot of what it’s about – how it’s
building momentum  (
Some months ago Antonia brought us a new idea to look at called a Limited
Liability Partnership, which she says could potentially transform the financing
of regeneration.  Those of you who
understand companies better than I do please read the attached and
comment.  Chris Cook – the UK’s main
exponent of LLPs is in town at the end of March.  If you want to meet him e-mail
(Antonia Swinson’s article, ‘Following the trail of a new animal’, from
Regeneration magazine 20.02.2004,



Last week we mentioned
housing activist Di Alexander’s proposals to get affordable housing into needy
rural communities.  Di says that
unfortunately The Herald’s Torcuil Crichton got a bit muddled – for those who
are interested in this field we attach Di’s clarification:  (



Bookings are rolling in for
the CRNS/Senscot/Social Firms Scotland Conference.  Looking forward to speaker Gerry Higgins, a social entrepreneur
who is leading a project to create 15/20 flagship social firms – many of them
franchises.  For further details:



constraints mean we can’t carry every notice you send. But please send in any
relevant items (before noon Thursday) to
and we’ll post them on our site.  This


JOBS: 45 vacancies including
Scottish Social Enterprise Academy, Toonspeak Young People’s Theatre, Wester
Hailes Rep Council, Cumbernauld YMCA-YWCA, Changes, Street Level Photowork,


Changin Scotland event No. 4, Ullapool, March 12-14; ‘Design For
Deconstruction: Reducing construction and demolition waste’, Glasgow, 16 March;
Scottish National Nappy Conference, Stirling, 16 March; Regeneration &
Community Planning – the Aberdeen Experience, SURF open Forum, Aberdeen, 17
March;  Capacity building Seminar, ‘From
Start…To Finish’, Loanhead, 17 March; ‘Next Generation: Better Services for
Young People’, Glasgow, 22 March; 
Scottish Global Awareness Conference, Edinburgh, 24-25 April.


for Social Entrepreneurs (Fife) is recruiting for its 2004 course, to start in


For details on these and
more, visit ‘Yellow pages’ at:



‘Your profession is not
what brings home your pay. Your profession is what you were put on earth to do
with such passion and such intensity that it becomes spiritual in calling’
– Vincent Van Gogh



Good chat
with Scarman Trust’s Matthew Pike about the new ‘Community Alliance’ –
comprising four of England’s key community development organisations – Scarman,
Bassac, DTA and Community Matters.  The
Alliance is developing a common vision for empowering communities:  “Our work is about sustainable communities,
a bigger theme than public service delivery. 
Nevertheless, the development of Community Service Agreements as formal
mechanisms that link nationally with Public Service Agreement targets, provides
a way for communities to claim the credit and reward for the massive
contribution they can make to cutting crime, improving health, placing people
in jobs, offering fulfilling activities to young people and promoting a culture
of learning for all.” We’ll keep up to speed on this.



This week’s bulletin
profiles Re-Union, a project located on the Union Canal that will offer,
through the use of a canal barge, a variety of programmes to enable youth,
community groups and local people to engage in social and educational activity
on and around the 32 miles of the Union Canal. 
With the support of Scotland unLTD, Re-Union is now ready to get their
boat in the canal (8-9th March). 
The formal launch will coincide with the Wester Hailes Festival on 24th
April and Re-union will be open for trading from May 2004.  Re-union is keen to encourage volunteer
participation and their mission is to make canal cruising available to all. For
further info:



Several Senscot members have
been involved since 1999 developing the thinking for a school for social
entrepreneurs in Scotland.  Dave
Coulter, Liz Thomas and Simon Clark at the beginning.  Latterly Jim Bennett has kept the momentum going.  Our thanks to them and everyone else who has
contributed.  The advertisement in
today’s papers for a Director for the Scottish Social Enterprise Academy is a
milestone for us all.  (



Apparently, we are going to
hear in the budget on March 17th that the Chancellor wants to see a
‘national framework of community service for young people.’  Both at home and abroad.  By coincidence member, Bobby Anderson sends
this marvellous diatribe from Ivan Illich from 1968 against American ‘do
gooders’ in Latin America.  It’s a bit
dated and acerbic but everyone who does our work should read this. Illich ends,

         “I am here to entreat you to freely, consciously and humbly
give up the legal right you have to impose your benevolence on Mexico.  I am here to challenge you to recognise your
inability, your powerlessness and your incapacity to do the ‘good’
which you intended to do.  I am here to
entreat you to use your money, your status and your education to travel in
Latin America.  Come to look, come to
climb our mountains, to enjoy our flowers. 
Come to study. But do not come to help.” (


That’s all for this week.
Good luck with your adventures.

Best wishes,



If you would like to receive
this bulletin directly, e-mail

To contribute to the costs
of this bulletin, click: