New community empowerment law has come into force

Written by Kate Shannon on 21 December 2016 in News

The Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 places expectations on local services to work with communities 

Kevin Stewart MSP - Photo credit: Scottish Government 

A new law which requires public services to involve communities in their work came into force yesterday.

Part two of the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 places new expectations on local services to work with communities to make a difference on the issues that matter most in their areas.


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The legislation means organisations like councils, NHS boards and Police Scotland are required to secure the participation of communities using community planning to ensure services are shaped to meet local needs.

Local Government Minister Kevin Stewart: “When people have greater control of their own future, they are more engaged and are able to tackle barriers to making their communities wealthier and fairer.

“By putting legislation in place, we are making it clear that consultation is no longer enough and that the participation of communities in decision making is vital.

“When the Community Empowerment Bill was passed last year, it was a momentous step in our drive to decentralise decisions and give people a stronger voice in their communities.”

Stewart marked the start of the legislation by visiting the Lochee Hub in Dundee which opened three months ago and was a response to calls for a community space in the area.

The hub offers a wide range of health and wellbeing provision, as well as a space for community groups to use.

Ken Guild, chairman of the Dundee Partnership, said: "Lochee is a great place to live and we want to work with people to make it even better.

“The Hub offers a space where children and families can come together to enjoy themselves, learn, support each other and get access to important services, all in the heart of Lochee.

“It is a great example of a local community and local public services working closely together to make a positive difference to people’s lives.”

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