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:
- funding community-led regeneration through the Empowering communities fund
- funding participatory funding through the £1.5 million Community Choices Fund, giving people more power to make decisions on spending in their local areas
- making it easier for communities to take over land and buildings in public ownership through asset transfer
- supporting community councils to represent communities’ opinions and needs to public bodies
- giving communities the ability to request to participate in decisions and processes which are aimed at improving outcomes through participation requests
- setting out best practice for public bodies to engage with communities via the National Standards for Community Engagement
- providing guidance on common good property
- launching the Local Governance Review, a comprehensive review of how local decisions are made and how local democracy is working
- supporting public service providers to work together and with local communities via community planning to shape and deliver better services
- bringing forward legislation to empower our island communities
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 https://beta.gov.scot/policies/community-empowerment/