Scotland’s Communities to get involved
Scotland’s communities are being urged to take control of their own future.
The Community Empowerment Action Plan, launched by the Scottish Government and COSLA today, looks to encourage people in both rural and urban areas to participate in the running of their neighbourhoods.
The Action Plan provides clarity on what community empowerment is, why it is important and how communities can get involved.
A range of best practice examples from across Scotland are set out, providing information and inspiration for people who want to have a say in the decisions affecting their communities.
There is also information on the variety of grants that are accessible to community groups, providing potential investment of around £180 million from a range of government sources.
Minster for Housing and Communities Alex Neil said:
‘The Scottish Government believes that the people of Scotland can, and should, take more control over the things that affect their lives.
‘Our communities, both urban and rural, are a rich source of untapped potential, creativity, energy and talent and the process of Community Empowerment is how we can help to release that potential.
‘The examples in the Action Plan, particularly those in rural areas, show how we can build on the strong Scottish tradition of people doing things for themselves.
‘There is no one size fits all model of community empowerment but local people doing things for themselves can sometimes be the best way to achieve positive changes.
‘The launch of the action plan will ensure that any community that wants to make its own future has an invaluable resource in the shape of a one-stop shop of best practice examples and advice.’
Councillor Harry McGuigan, COSLA’s Community Safety and Wellbeing spokesman:
‘The launch of the Community Empowerment Action Plan today is the culmination of a successful partnership working process with the Scottish Government and the hardworking members of COSLA’s Community Empowerment Task Group.
‘However, this launch is but the beginning of what needs to be a sustained and lasting campaign of promoting Community Empowerment in Scotland. Local Authorities, elected members and community groups will be key to this work which I hope will begin to foster a democratic renewal in Scotland.
‘The more people feel they can make a difference to the issues that are important to them in their communities the more we will find citizens at a local level re-engaging and taking action to help themselves, community by community.
‘I’m excited to be part of this work and to be in Barrhead to launch this action plan.’
Brian Connelly, Chair of Auchenback Active, said:
‘The Auchenback Resource Centre has been extremely successful – better than we could have hoped. The work of the volunteers and support from the local community has been first class. Their hard work dedication and contribution have made such a difference bringing the community together as well as building on the skills and experience of individuals.
‘The Resource Centre provides a place for people to access information, learning and leisure classes and clubs as well as providing space to meet, eat and play.
‘And it’s not just local people using the centre news on what we offer and the excellent services we provide has spread and people from further afield are now also coming to use our facilities. Things just keep getting better and better.’
A full copy of the Scottish Community Empowerment Action Plan can be downloaded from http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2009/03/20155113/0