supporting, developing and representing community groups,
voluntary organisations, social enterprises and volunteering
People from deprived backgrounds still left out of community empowerment action
A Scottish Parliament Committee has criticised the implementation of the 2015 Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act saying that not enough has been done to empower people from deprived backgrounds to take action in their communities.
The report by the Local Government and Communities Committee reflected on the impact of two key areas of the act aimed at empowering communities: participation and asset transfer requests. Members of the committee concluded there is clearly work to be done in raising awareness of both, particularly in disadvantaged areas.
The Committee say a lack of resources and support at grassroots level is hindering progress in empowering communities, with the Scottish Household Survey revealing only 18% of Scots feel they can influence decisions affecting their local area. They say more must be done to identify how to overcome barriers to engagement and have called on the Scottish Government to work with public bodies and COSLA to help communities use their rights to challenge and influence decisions and services.
FVA response to this report:
Generating meaningful engagement and dialogue with those local community groups across the Kingdom to ensure that they feel empowered to have a say in the decisions affecting their local area, is an important part of the work we do as the third sector interface for Fife.
This is why we announced later last year our plans to launch our Third Sector Locality Forums in 2021, which will take place across Fife's seven locality areas - North East Fife, Glenrothes, Kirkcaldy, Levenmouth, Cowdenbeath, Dunfermline and South West Fife.
The forums will act as a space for Fife's local community groups to come together to discuss the issues that matter most to them and explore opportunities for them to work together to develop community wealth building locally.
We will provide relevant support and resources to enable these groups to have a greater say in what is happening in their community and take advantage of the 2015 Act when applicable. We will share more details on this via our website soon.
In the meantime, if you have any questions about the Community Empowerment Act 2015 (including queries about participation and asset transfer requests), please don't hesitate to contact us by calling on 0800 389 6046 or e-mail [email protected]