Community Empowerment

Opportunities for communities to be more involved in shaping and delivering better outcomes locally.

When communities are empowered they enjoy higher democratic participation, an increase in confidence and skills among local people, higher numbers of people volunteering in their community and more satisfaction with quality of life within the neighbourhood.

According to Volunteer Scotland, better community engagement and participation leads to the delivery of better, more responsive services and better outcomes for communities.

The Community Empowerment Act was passed by the Scottish Parliament in June 2015. The Act will help empower community bodies through the ownership of land and buildings, and by strengthening their voices in the decisions that matter to them. Legislation and guidance on asset transfer came into force in January 2017.

BEFS contributed to consultation on the Community Empowerment Bill in January 2014 by holding a workshop and submitting a consultation response.

Consultation on the future of the Scottish Planning system highlights the Scottish Government’s ambition for the planning system to empower people in deciding the future of their places. BEFS has also provided views on the Scottish Government’s consultation: Guidance on Engaging Communities in Decisions Relating to Land.