We continue to scrutinise the actions of the Scottish Government in its response to the COVID-19 public health emergency in areas within our remit, and in its support for the local government and voluntary sectors. We also aim to provide a forum to share good practice in addressing the challenges the emergency raises. As part of this work we will look at actions taken by local government, housing, planning and communities sectors. We had remote informal discussions on 22 April, 29 April and 6 May to discuss future business. Since then we have been able to resume formal meetings, including broadcast evidence sessions, through remote video-conferencing. Any correspondence relevant to our work on COVID-19 is published here.
Regular updates from the Scottish Government on the Local Government and Communities Sector’s response to COVID-19
Coronavirus (Scotland) Bill
Please read an update from COSLA around the essential work that Local Government across Scotland is undertaking in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
We wrote to all 32 Local Authorities seeking clarification on how they are managing business continuity in general and specifically in relation to planning and licensing in light of recent developments.
We sought views from planning stakeholders, such as whether it will have a negative effect on the planning system or whether it amounts to a proportionate and practical temporary response to the emergency. Please read the response from Planning Democracy.
The Cabinet Secretary for Finance wrote to the Convener in response to evidence session the Committee held on 3 June 2020 in which the issue of additional funding for local government was raised.
The Convener wrote to COSLA to draw their attention to the correspondence the Committee received from the Cabinet Secretary for Finance.
Empty Homes in Scotland
Guidance on moving home in Scotland during the COVID-19 outbreak
The Scottish Refugee Council wrote to the Convener regarding homelessness affecting refugees and the need for safe transition and recovery out of COVID-19
Short Term Lets: COVID-19 and future regulation
Remote Committee meetings
The Committee agreed to write to the Presiding Officer regarding the possibility of holding future hybrid meetings for the Committee. (Hybrid: meetings where some members are physically present and others take part remotely)
Third Sector Resilience Fund
We agreed to write to SCVO, Firstport, Social Investment Scotland, Corra Foundation and to each Third Sector Interface (TSI) regarding what measures the Scottish Government have in place to ensure the fund is reaching third sector organisations.
Read responses from TSIs and joint submission from SCVO, Firstport, Social Investment Scotland and Corra Foundation here
Summary of written submissions
The Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) has produced the following summary of the written submissions received:
Read letter from Scottish Charity Regulator following the evidence session on 26 June 2020 with TSIs
Budget scrutiny – guidance to subject committees
Scottish Government’s Advisory Group on Economic Recovery
Scottish Housing Regulator
Independent Children’s Rights Impact Assessment on the Response to Covid-19 in Scotland
Green Recovery and Housing
COVID-19 and Emergency SSIs
Homeless Persons (Unsuitable Accommodation) (Scotland) Amendment Order 2020
Town and Country Planning (Miscellaneous Temporary Modifications) (Coronavirus) (Scotland) Regulations 2020 (SSI 2020/124)