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Bold ambitions

Published: 8 Jun 2016 11:00

Scotland’s leaders to be driving force in their communities.

Scotland's public services leaders are the key driving force in delivering Scotland's 'unashamedly bold and ambitious plan' to reform and integrate services fit for the future, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said.

As part of the Government's drive to increase the beneficial impact of public services in communities the public sector is being asked to commit to the Social Impact Pledge which will show their commitment to work more collaboratively in order to deliver a fairer and more successful country and to work directly with the communities to open up facilities and support local projects.

Speaking at the Scottish Leaders Forum to an audience of 170 senior leaders from across the public and third sector services the First Minister said:

"Today, I call on all public bodies to sign the Social Impact Pledge and commit to do at least three new things that benefit their communities and challenge policies to deliver more positive impacts for their local areas.

"It is only by empowering individuals that we can achieve our shared ambition for a fairer and more prosperous nation. That is my call to Scotland's leaders.

"We spend over £30 billion a year on public services and the public sector employs more than a fifth of the labour force in Scotland. That is enormous leverage to embed positive policies and to lead the way in innovation.

"Our health and education sector must evolve if we are to keep, and continue to improve, a world-leading service. Scotland's public services leaders have an essential role in working collaboratively to make the changes that will deliver better outcomes for the people.

"In delivering reforms, the structures of our NHS, schools and colleges, and their relationship with local government, must reflect those changes. Structure can't act as a barrier to planning or delivering local services effectively.

"The levers to improve the quality of our children's education or health or prosperity do not sit neatly in any ministerial department or public organisation. We need a joined up approach across all our public services.

"There are challenging times ahead but if we all work closely together we can turn these unashamedly bold and ambitious plans into a reality."

Notes to editors

The Social Impact Pledge enables organisations to demonstrate leadership by challenging their policies and operations to ensure that they make a positive contribution to their communities.

Read more about the Pledge here http://www.communityscot.org.uk/social-impact-pledge/