The Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 (the Act) aims to improve outcomes and reduce inequality for communities:
- through the ownership or control of land and buildings, and
- by strengthening their voices in decisions about public services.
“Within a Scottish policy context, outcomes based approaches are promoted to improve public services in a range of ways including by focusing on the concerns of individuals and communities and demonstrating accountability” (emphasis added).
Disabled people face some of the starkest inequalities of any characteristic group in Scotland, in terms of access to health, social services, work, the environment, etc. The Equality Advice Support Service (EASS) regularly shows the majority of inquiries from disabled people. 70.1% of calls in 3 months this summer came from disabled people whereas the next highest level of calls regarded race at 11.56%. Of course disabled people can have multiple characteristics that make up our identities and so may live with multiple levels of inequality.
11 topics are covered by the Act
- These are:
- National Outcomes
- Community Planning
- Participation Requests
- Community Rights to Buy Land
- Asset Transfer Requests
- Delegation of Forestry Commissioners’ Functions
- Football Clubs
- Common Good Property
- Participation in Public Decision-Making
- Non-Domestic Rates
We think four of these processes are of most interest for improving outcomes and reducing inequality for disabled people. The topics of focus are Community Planning, Participation requests, Asset Transfer Requests and Participation in Public Decision-making. This Policy Panel recognises disabled people as a community of interest in our local areas.
For full details on this Policy Panel please read this briefing on Community Empowerment