Senscot Bulletin 08-04-2004



Dear members and friends,


I’m always being asked if I’m related to Ricky Demarco. I’m
not – his family came from the north of Italy – mine from the south – but I
welcome the association – he is much respected. Ricky is one of those rare
social alchemists whose vision and energy shape the future – those luminous
spirits whose intuition shows us the way. Now Edinburgh Councillors have put
the Bailiffs on him for £50k rent arrears. We will always need the beancounters
– but it’s a second tier function. True leaders need vision – judgement-to
weigh values – not just costs. Beancounters enjoy control – mediocrity. They
can’t help it.

Ricky Demarco has nothing to
prove. No-one has done as much for as long to energise Scotland’s cultural
life. He’ll be 74 now, and, tho’ still working, most folk think he deserves
some respite – at least from sheriff officers. I have long been in awe at
Ricky’s almost supernatural enthusiasm. The Greek word for enthusiasm denotes
‘God in us’. In Scotland it’s called ‘showing off’; “And him behind with his

Have a great Easter break. There’s
a spot on Gullane Hill – you can see across the Forth to the ‘Paps o’ Fife’ –
field larks nest there and as you pass they hover above you singing their
hearts out. Hopkin’s line, “There lives the dearest freshness deep down in



The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) is an annual study
linked a cross the world. In Scotland it is co-ordinated by the Hunter Centre
at Strathclyde – in England by the London Business School. For the first time
this year the study included ‘Social Entrepreneurship’ and the results have
taken the researchers by surprise. The UK work was based on data from a
randomly selected telephone survey of 22,000 adults between ages 18-64. Rebecca
Harding, who co-ordinated the English work, said, “We are astonished at the
level of social enterprise activity in the UK.” Tom Hunter, in his preface to
the Scottish study, wrote: “45% more Scots aspire to start a social enterprise
than do an ordinary business. This is an important social phenomenon.” I
suspect he was bewildered, but these figures are only surprising to those
outside our growing sector. (

completely different base data the DTI in London is trying to count the number
of social enterprises in the UK. Senscot has helped with the Scottish count and
present calculations suggest our ‘working estimate’ of about 3,000 is not a bad



Recently Chancellor Gordon Brown said the government plans
to construct a national framework of community service for young people. “We
want to examine whether we can, through making it a national priority, engage a
new generation of young people in serving their communities.” All the
indications are that the government takes ‘civic renewal’ very seriously – that
serious investment is intended. The recent report by the Institute of Public
Policy Research (IPPR) is already influencing the discussion about a national
youth programme ( 



A High Court judge last week gave six community groups the
right to take Leicester City Council to judicial review over its handling of
voluntary sector budget cuts. Whatever the outcome of the review , it is good
to see communities assert their rights. Many councils need to learn that
‘partnership’ responsibilities go both ways – that they can’t just bail out
when it suits them. (



Senscot’s Trustees met last week and decided that the AGM
this year will be held on the 17th June, at the Teacher’s Building
in Glasgow’s St. Enoch’s Square. Please put the date in your diary – from 1.30
–3.30pm. We’re looking for a great guest speaker – last year’s David Puttnam (
is hard to follow.



The Scottish Social Enterprise Coalition hosted a reception
on Tuesday 30th March attended by 6 MSPs including Susan Deacon and
Robin Harper. The Coalition is committed to raising the profile of social
enterprise in Scotland and hopefully these events will become a fixture.
(‘News’ at



YELLOW PAGES: Space 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 week:


JOBS: 40 vacancies, including Concern Worldwide, Intowork,
Scottish Consumer Council, Co-op & Mutuality Scotland, the Iona Community,
Social Firms Scotland, Community Woodlands Association.


EVENTS: What makes a successful social enterprise?, SEDI
event, Edinburgh 16 April; Theatre Nemo Presents ‘The Late Late Christmas
Show’, 24 April; ‘Ten Years In South Africa’s Democracy’, seminar, Edinburgh
April 27; Edinburgh Mediabase Intro to Screenwriting, starts 4th May; The Way
Forward For Rural Scotland conf., Edinburgh 10th May; Public Sector Procurement
conf., Edinburgh, 14 May; 2nd International Social Enterprise
Exchange, Budapest, May 23-29; Edinburgh Treefest 2004, 12-13 June.


CAN YOU HELP: Social Responsibility Programme  – IRB Under 21 World Cup, Scotland, June
2004.  Partners sought. Deadline April
30th; Scottish Borders Council has an Initiative to support social enterprise
development, and is keen to link up with similar projects in Scotland.


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



Stephen Maxwell knows as much as anyone about the policy
context of the social economy in Scotland. We have posted his piece from the
spring edition of SURF’s improved magazine Scottish Regeneration – a 10-minute
tutorial for serious policy buffs. Stephen ends with a rousing call for
building local capacity and assets. He argues that the resources committed to
the promotion of community engagement with Community Planning – should be used
to maximise the capacity of disadvantaged communities to act for themselves.



This week’s bulletin profiles a project in Edinburgh that is
attracting more and more attention with the increasing possibility of it being
replicated in other parts of the country. The Bike Station, located  in Edinburgh, has been operating since 2002
underneath the main concourse in Waverley Station. The Bike Station is a
community project that accepts donated bikes from members of the public and
recycles them for use by priority groups of people such as the long term
unemployed, those who have been homeless and those with mental health problems.
Altho’ receiving grant support, the Bike Station also generates significant
additional income towards its running costs from the sale of bikes to the
public. For further info’ see Project Profiles on our site:



Speaking at a recent London conference, Professor John Hills
of the London School of Economics said that problems would result from a new
gap developing with the super-rich. “The lower economic group is catching the
middle, but those right at the top are starting to move away in terms of income
and wealth”. Loughborough University’s Professor Ruth Lister said, “The
financial elite are excluding themselves from citizenship with the rest of
society.” (



Anthony Samson wrote the Anatomy of Britain in 1962. a
bestseller, it identified the overlapping networks of power which ran Britain –
business, politics, civil service, academia – what we called collectivelty ‘the
Establishment’. Now 40 years later in a new book called ‘Who runs this place?’,
Sampson describes a very different Britain. He says that our former values have
been eroded – ground down by the pursuit of hard cash. The nation has found
affluence – lost its soul. “The respect now shown for wealth and moneymaking,
rather than professional conduct and moral values, has been the most
fundamental change in Britain over four decades.” The UK has become a
playground for a new rich elite who increasingly dominate and debase national
culture – even as they cease to participate in the national community. But it’s
not all bad – read Ian McWhirter’s review: ( 


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

Best wishes,



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