News In Focus
Ministers publish Community Empowerment Bill
Scottish ministers have published their bill to strengthen community participation and encourage enterprising community development.
The Community Empowerment (Scotland) Bill will reform the existing community right to buy and include provisions to make it simpler for communities to take over public sector land and buildings.
It will also strengthen the duty on councils to provide allotments in response to demand, and protect allotment sites from closure.
The existing community right to buy will be streamlined and extended to cover all parts of Scotland, both urban areas and larger rural towns, as part of plans to have 1,000,000 acres into community ownership by 2020.
Communities will be empowered to take over public sector land and buildings where they can show they can deliver greater public benefit with those assets. Examples could include land for community groups to grow their own food, develop play facilities for young people or a place for older people to meet and socialise.
Announcing the bill, Local Government Minister Derek Mackay also confirmed an increase in funding from the People and Communities Fund by £1.5m to £9.4m per year in 2015-16.
Click here to access the bill and related documents.