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December 4, 2013

Engage with Empowerment Bill

Timescales are tight but the Scottish Government’s consultation on its community empowerment bill is a really important chance to squeeze the most out of what’s on offer – extending the right to buy to urban communities, tightening up procedures and practices around transfer of public assets and more say over local outcomes. It’s also perhaps worth commenting on what’s not mentioned. Community councils and local democracy. The primacy of community anchor organisations in community empowerment. Renewal. Where did that go?


November 6, 2013

Consultation on the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Bill

This consultation seeks views on a range of proposals intended to give people in communities, and those supporting them in the public sector, a range of new ways to help deliver a better Scotland. It takes forward proposals that were supported in our previous, exploratory consultation in 2012, and others which have emerged from further discussion with stakeholders.

Executive Summary

Scotland’s people are its greatest asset, and best placed to make decisions about their future. The proposed Community Empowerment (Scotland) Bill aims to make the most of the talents that exist in our communities; deliver high quality and improving public services; and support strong local democracy and local decision-making.

The Bill will include:

• a new way for communities to take on public sector land and buildings

• opportunities for communities to be more involved in shaping and delivering better outcomes locally

• greater transparency in the management and disposal of the Common Good

• improved powers for local authorities to recover the costs of dealing with dangerous and defective buildings

• measures to streamline and extend the rural community right to buy

• new duties to strengthen Community Planning, so that public sector agencies work as one to deliver better outcomes for communities

• updated and simplified legislation on allotments

• new powers for local authorities to create local business rate relief schemes.

We are also inviting views on other ways to reflect local democracy principles, and considering how communities might benefit from legislation to strengthen the national and local focus on improving outcomes, currently implemented through Scotland Performs.

How to Respond

You can respond to the consultation online , or download the consultation questionnaires and Respondent Information Form to respond by email or by post. Please make sure you include the Respondent Information Form so we know how to handle your response.

You do not need to answer all the questions in the consultation, if you are only interested in certain topics. The consultation questionnaires are divided according to the chapter headings. We hope you find this helpful. If you choose not to use the questionnaire, please clearly indicate in your response which questions you are responding to. This will help us to analyse the responses.

The closing date for responses is 24 January 2014.