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January 9, 2019

What’s in your Common Good

The 2015 Community Empowerment Act has many parts, some of which received more attention than others and some of which are still working their way through the process of being implemented. One of these sections relates to Common Good Property. The question of what the Common Good consists of has long been an area of contention, as is the matter of how these assets are managed and disposed of. Councils are now required to publish a register of all Common Good assets after fully consulting with communities. Might be worth checking out what your Council has done.


Scottish Government

Common good property

Assets held for the common good – such as parks, monuments and statues – are owned by local authorities, who must manage the assets in accordance with existing statutory and non-statutory duties.

As part of the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015, local authorities have certain duties in relation to common good property. The purpose of these duties is to increase:

             transparency about the existence of common good assets

             community involvement in decisions regarding them, including their identification and how they are used and disposed of

The Act dictates that local authorities must:

             ‘establish and maintain a register of property which is held by the authority as part of the common good’, and engage with local communities in setting up these registers

             publish details of any proposals to dispose of or change the use of common good assets, and open these proposals to community councils for consultation

             ‘have regard to any guidance issued by the Scottish Ministers’ in terms of:

o             the process of creating common good registers

o             the process of disposing and changing the use of common good property

o             the management and use of common good property

We ran a consultation on draft guidance on common good property for local authorities from 30 June 2017 to 29 September 2017. We published the analysis of responses to the common good property consultation on 24 November. We used this to inform the statutory guidance for local authorities on common good property, published in July 2018.