Importance of community enshrined in new Scottish law

New law further increases involvement of communities on the issues that matter to them.

PUBLIC SERVICES MUST involve communities in their work with a view to making a “positive difference” on the issues that matter most in local areas.

Under new laws which came into force yesterday, service providers in Moray such as The Moray Council, NHS Grampian and Police Scotland must secure the participation of communities through working together in community planning, ensuring services are shaped to meet local needs.

On the day the new law came into force Local Government Minister Kevin Stewart said: “When people have greater control of their own future, they are more engaged and are able to tackle barriers to making their communities wealthier and fairer.

“By putting legislation in place, we are making it clear that consultation is no longer enough and that the participation of communities in decision making is vital.

“When the Community Empowerment Bill was passed last year, it was a momentous step in our drive to decentralise decisions and give people a stronger voice in their communities.”

The minister was speaking during a visit to Dundee where he cited the Lochee Hub as an example of how the community came together with Dundee City Council, NHS Tayside and voluntary organisations to create a space that people in the area were crying out for.

He said: “It is yet more proof that public bodies can get better results by working together with communities so that services improve for the people who use them.”