Subscribe to Holyrood updates

Newsletter sign-up


Follow us

Scotland’s fortnightly political & current affairs magazine


Subscribe to Holyrood
by Kate Shannon
17 June 2015
Community Empowerment Bill expected to be approved by MSPs

Community Empowerment Bill expected to be approved by MSPs

Photo credit: Peter Devlin

The Community Empowerment (Scotland) Bill will reach its final stage in Parliament today.

MSPs are expected to pass the legislation, which aims to hand more power to communities, this afternoon.

The Bill will make it easier for communities to make their voices heard on decisions affecting them and to take over derelict or abandoned land and assets.

It will also extend the community right to buy to the whole of Scotland, removing the restriction to rural areas, and will introduce a community right to buy neglected or abandoned land even if there is no willing seller.

Local Government and Community Empowerment Minister Marco Biagi said: “This Bill is a momentous step in our drive to give people a stronger voice in the decisions that matter to them.

“The Bill will give communities more rights to take over land in both urban and rural areas, provide protection for allotments, introduce new powers to transform abandoned or derelict land and opportunities to be involved in decisions around the delivery of services, community safety, healthcare or education from day one.”

He also announced that the Community Ownership Support Service (COSS), which helps groups and local authorities transfer buildings or land assets, will see its funding increased to £400,000 over the next year.

The funding boost will be used to spread awareness through roadshows and by providing advice directly to community groups on the benefits of asset transfer.

Biagi added: “COSS has already supported nearly 50 asset transfers across Scotland and through this funding and the work of the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Bill I know even more communities will benefit.

“Every community across the country has a building or area of land that could be transformed if local people were in control.

“Taking over land or buildings can give communities the opportunity to protect services that might otherwise have been lost, it can provide jobs, training and opportunities to generate income or allow groups to refurbish and make alterations to buildings they already use.”

Holyrood Newsletters

Holyrood provides comprehensive coverage of Scottish politics, offering award-winning reporting and analysis: Subscribe

Read the most recent article written by Kate Shannon - The sex strike shows that even feminists can fall foul of outdated stereotypes.

Get award-winning journalism delivered straight to your inbox

Get award-winning journalism delivered straight to your inbox


Popular reads
Back to top