Community Empowerment is big and supported by new legislation. The Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act received Royal Assent on 24 July 2015.
Local partners is Kincardine & Mearns are putting in efforts to prepare themselves and communities for the opportunities it is bringing and the event held in Laurencekirk on June 16th was part of this.
The three major elements of the Act that communities should be aware of are:
- the strengthening of community planning to give communities more of a say in how public services are to be planned and provided
- new rights enabling communities to identify needs and issues and request action to be taken on these, and
- The extension of the community right to buy or otherwise have greater control over assets.
Underpinning all these provisions is a welcome intention to focus attention on disadvantage and inequality.
“This bill is a momentous step in our drive to decentralise decisions and give people a stronger voice in their communities”
(Marco Biagi MSP, Minister for Local Government and Community Empowerment)
Within Kincardine & Mearns, to raise awareness and increase understanding of the Act, the Local Community Planning Group held a Community Empowerment Act event focusing on the three parts of the Act identified by communities as being of importance to them;
- Participation Requests
- Community Asset Transfer
- Participatory Budgeting
Lead by the Community Planning Officer and Aberdeenshire Voluntary Action with input from Scottish Government and Development Trusts Association Scotland, the event gave attendees the chance to take part in two workshops on participation requests and community asset transfer. The afternoon session was devoted to a live participatory budgeting exercise, older people’s groups in Laurencekirk bidding for a share of £1000 allocated by Kincardine & Mearns Area Committee.