As you may be aware the Consultation on the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Bill was ConsultationEmpowermentCoverlaunched on Wednesday 6th November. The aim of the Bill is to help communities achieve their own goals and work in partnership with the public, private and third sector to deliver improved outcomes.

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.

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.

The consultation paper is available on the Scottish Government website at http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Consultations/Current If you would like a printed copy, please contact Community.Empowerment@scotland.gsi.gov.uk, or telephone 0131 244 0382.  The closing date for responses is 24 January 2014.