Drive for more power to the people

IDEAS to empower Scotland’s communities – including extending the right to buy land have been welcomed by local MSP Adam Ingram as the consultation for the new bill was launched this week.

Giving urban communities increased powers that would allow them to buy their own land and buildings is one idea detailed for the proposed Community Empowerment and Renewal Bill.

Mr Ingram said: “Giving people a more direct say in what happens in their own communities is vital for moving our country forward.

“Scotland already boasts tight-knit communities that are active but, with these proposed new powers, people will be equipped to do so much more.

“That is why I would encourage as many people as possible to participate in the consultation and help shape the bill. No-one knows more about what local communities need than those living there.

“The consultation is looking to find out what people think about extending right to buy for urban communities, allowing them the right to ask to take on unused public sector assets and how communities can be more involved in making decisions on local budgets.

“Helping to give people a better understanding of the public sector assets in their area is another idea mooted that will further strengthen our communities.

“It is vital that the voices of local people are heard when decisions are being taken that affect their area.

“While removing bureaucratic barriers and creating an effective legislative framework, we can fully empower Scotland’s communities.”