The following serves to explain and underscore why NICE was formed. Some question our motives but there is nothing sinister about it – it is Government policy to give communities more say and more local control.

The Minister for Local Government and Planning, Derek Mackay, today (6th Nov) launched a consultation on the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Bill.

The aim of the Bill is to make the most of the talents that exist in our communities; deliver high quality and improving public services; and support strong local democracy and local decision-making.

The Bill will include:

•       a new way for communities to take on public sector land and buildings

•       opportunities for communities to be more involved in shaping and delivering better outcomes locally

•       greater transparency in the management and disposal of the Common Good

•       improved powers for local authorities to recover the costs of dealing with dangerous and defective buildings

•       measures to streamline and extend the rural community right to buy

•       new duties to strengthen Community Planning, so that public sector agencies work as one to deliver better outcomes for communities

•       updated and simplified legislation on allotments

•       new powers for local authorities to create local business rate relief schemes.

We are also inviting views on other ways to reflect local democracy principles, and considering how communities might benefit from legislation to strengthen the national and local focus on improving outcomes, currently implemented through Scotland Performs.

The consultation  paper is available on the Scottish Government website at  If you would like a printed copy, please contact, or telephone 0131 244 0382.  The closing date for responses is 24 January 2014.

This consultation takes forward proposals that were supported in our previous, exploratory consultation, and other issues which have emerged from further discussion with stakeholders.  We are contacting people who responded to that earlier consultation, and others who have expressed an interest in the issues covered, to make sure you have the chance to comment on our detailed proposals.

Officials will be attending events and visiting groups with an interest in the Bill to help them understand the proposals.  Visit our website at or follow us on Twitter, @CommEmpower, to keep up with what’s happening.

We look forward to hearing your views.

The Community Empowerment Bill Team

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