What will we be talking about at the CTA’s Scotland Conference?
by Derek Young
Director for Scotland
We’re excited that in December we’re going to be holding our 2018 Scotland Conference where we’ll celebrate the enormous contribution of community transport providers in Scotland, look at some of the key issues affecting the sector today, and gather together as colleagues from across the country to meet, network and to share ideas and experiences.
It’s also your opportunity to meet CTA’s new team in Scotland. I was delighted to join the CTA as Director for Scotland at the beginning of the year and in July we were joined by Rachael Murphy, our new Support and Engagement Executive.
The conference is taking place on 11 December in Edinburgh and is open both to CTA members and non-members. We’d encourage you to join us there!
A lot has happened in the community transport sector over the last year so we’ve got a lot to cover! Keep an eye out in the coming weeks for further details on the programme and speakers, but here are a few of the topics you can expect to be hearing about and getting involved with if you attend:
Transport Policy in Scotland
In Scotland we have a new Transport Minister, Michael Matheson MSP, along with a wide-ranging adjustment to the political brief, raising it to Cabinet Secretary level and combining it with infrastructure and communications. The clear steer from Government is that they see transport as a driver for the economy, especially combined with infrastructure developments and planning reform.
We have also seen dedicated transport legislation introduced to the Scottish Parliament for the first time in over a decade, with the promise of new bus arrangements to reduce or halt the persistent and ongoing decline in bus usage, including franchising and partnership options, low emission zones in Scotland’s major cities and possibly beyond, laying the groundwork for more smart ticketing and automation, and fresh restrictions on parking. CTA recently responded to the call for evidence on the Transport (Scotland) Bill where we highlighted measures that need to be taken to ensure that the Bill supports the community transport sector and their passengers. We will shortly be making our response available online.
We’ll also be looking at commissioning and how we can encourage local authorities and other commissioners to support the sector as they look at their commissioning practices in light of any new potential guidance from the Department for Transport following their recent consultation.
Tackling loneliness and isolation
Scotland was the first nation to commit to a strategic approach to tackling loneliness, and the consultation on this held in the Spring specifically highlighted the contribution of the CT sector and the CTA to help people interact and remain connected when faced with distinct and deep-rooted challenges. The UK Government has also published its loneliness strategy for England and Wales, and CTA is, and its members will be, keen to understand the impact that a new approach in Scotland will have on services specifically directed at reducing social isolation.
Book your place now
Since Rachael and I started at CTA we’ve been out and about meeting members in recent months but we’re keen for as many members as possible to join us at the conference. All of the issues noted above will be aired and explored, as well as providing the typical opportunity for members to feed back views to the CTA and hear from colleagues around the country about the situations they are facing and how they are responding.
Once again, we are grateful for the support of the Royal Bank of Scotland which is generously hosting us at its Gogarburn conference centre.
Community Transport Association UK is a charitable company limited by guarantee. Registered in Cardiff no. 1985361 Registered office: 12 Hilton Street M1 1JF. Registered as a charity in England and Wales no. 1002222. Charity Registered in Scotland No. SC038518.