Community Empowerment (policy)

We are committed to supporting our communities to do things for themselves, and to make their voices heard in the planning and delivery of services.


To empower communities in Scotland, we are:


Research has shown that when communities feel empowered, there is:

  • greater participation in local democracy
  • increased confidence and skills among local people
  • more people volunteering in their communities
  • greater satisfaction with quality of life in the neighbourhood

Better community engagement and participation leads to the delivery of better, more responsive services and better outcomes for communities.

In 2015 Parliament passed the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015to give new rights to community bodies and new duties to public sector authorities. To explain further, we have published:

Bills and legislation

The Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 gave community bodies new rights and public sector authorities new duties.

The Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 required local authorities to introduce Community Council schemes for their area, outlining various arrangements including elections, meetings, boundaries, and finance. Local authorities have statutory oversight of Community Councils and, in consultation with their Community Councils, the freedom to tailor schemes to the particular circumstances of their area.

Reference list: Scottish Government. 2018. Retrieved from

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