Gillian Russell, Director of Safer Communities, Scottish Government
People - local people were passionate about local community spirit and want to be proud of their community and the community spirit.
An African grocery store has just opened in the centre, a local band were playing and people were planting flowers. Willie the local councillor told us how they had been doing a bit of guerrilla gardening.
An African lady had planted potatoes and wild flowers. They were coming up a treat and poppies were in bloom. The Council tractors came along and ploughed them over. Willie was not dispirited – he said they wouldn’t be ploughing up like that again in a hurry!
The question for me is how we turn those hopes into reality - how do we make sure that the policies we are pursuing are making a collective difference on the ground - what is the role of SG in this to create the conditions where the community spirit is allowed to thrive?