Community Empowerment (Scotland) Bill

 

Stage 1

The lead committee for this Bill is the Local Government and Regeneration Committee. However, following a request from the Scottish Government, the RACCE Committee agreed to scrutinise Part 4 of the Bill at Stage 1. Part 4 relates to the community right to buy land.

The Community Empowerment (Scotland) Bill is a Bill to make provision about national outcomes; to confer functions on certain persons in relation to services provided by, and assets of, certain public bodies; to amend Part 2 of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003; to enable certain bodies to buy abandoned or neglected land; to make provision for registers of common good property and about disposal and use of such property; to restate and amend the law on allotments; to enable local authorities to reduce or remit non-domestic rates; and for connected purposes.

 

The Committee agreed to scrutinise Part 4 of the Bill, as introduced, at its work Programme discussion on 1 October 2014 following a letter from the Minister for Parliamentary Business on 21 August 2014 and agreed its approach and timetable at its meeting of 8 October. The Committee reviewed the written evidence on Part 4 received by the Local Government  Committee and invited specific evidence on Part 4 from those giving oral evidence, who had not submitted written evidence or who wished to present additional evidence, in advance of the evidence sessions.

 

The Committee heard from the Bill team on 19 November. Three further stakeholder evidence sessions took place on 26 November and 3 December, concluding with an evidence session with the relevant Minister on 10 December. The stakeholder evidence sessions took the form of panels. The panel on 26 November focused on the operation of current provisions. The panels on 3 December focused on urban and rural provisions and on ECHR issues.

For more details on the Bill, please visit the Scottish Parliament's Bill page here: Community Empowerment (Scotland) Bill.

On Thursday 9 October, the RACCE Committee issued further information on its approach to the Bill. Read it here:

Stage 2

The Scottish Government lodged the following explanatory note to accompany stage 2 amendments on part 4 of the Bill on the crofting right-to-buy.

The Committee agreed to take evidence on these amendments.  The following written evidence was recieved:

Dr. Aileen McLeod, Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform gave evidence to the Committee on the 25 February 2015.  On 10 March, she supplied the following supplementary evidence:

During the stage 2 scrutiny of amendments on the 4 March, the Minister underook to provide additional information on the land court and tenements:

Evidence

Written evidence

The following written evidence was received by the Committee:

As stated in the remit section above, the Local Government and Regeneration (LGR) Committee is the lead Committee for this Bill. They issued a call for views on Thursday 26 June 2014 (with a closing date of 5 September 2014). The following submissions, received by the LGR Committee, contained relevant evidence to the RACCE Committee and have been reproduced here:

A full list of submissions received by the LRG Committee can be found at the following link:

Supplementary written evidence

Following the session on 19 November with Scottish Government officials, the Land Reform and Tenancy Unit agreed to write to the Committee with follow up information. Read the letter here:

On the 16th December 2014, the Committee wrote to local authorities in Scotland to seek information on their position on the disposal of assets.

The following responses were received:

 The Committee wrote to the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food and Environment, the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Constitution and Economy, and the Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Communities and Pensioners' Rights on the disposal of local authority assets on the 18 February:

A response to the letter was received from the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Constitution and Economy on 3 March 2015.

Work By Other Committees

The Local Government and Regeneration Committee is the lead committee for this Bill.

Further details of the LGR Committee's scrutiny of the Bill can be found here.  The Committee's progress throughout stage 2 will be updated here.

Report

Report on Part 4 of the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Bill

The Scottish Government responded to the report on 25 February

Scottish Government response to the Local Government and Regeneration Committee and RACCE Committee's report at stage 1

Additional Information

Correspondence regarding the Bill:

 
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