Consultation launched to give people more powers

Ideas to empower Scotland’s communities – including extending the right to buy land – have been launched in a consultation for a new bill.

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.

SNP MSP Mike Mackenzie is encouraging as many people as possible to help shape the bill by responding to the Scottish Government’s consultation.

The MSP for Highlands and Islands, which covers the Machrihanish former RAF base that was bought by the local community last month, 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.

“Locals bought the former airbase at Machrihanish to help make the site work for the community and reinvigorate the economy. With the powers in this proposed bill, people across the country can follow this lead.

“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.”