Giving communities a greater say

Midlothian Council wants to help communities do more for themselves and have more say in the decisions that affect them.  The Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act has been introduced to help.  It’s a new law which asks public bodies like councils to make sure they listen to what communities want.

Meeting your needs

The council is working with communities to make sure their services meet people’s needs.  If a community group has an idea to make services better, they can now make what’s known as a ‘participation request’ to the council, provided it’s about a service we run.  We will then listen to the community group’s idea and talk to them about how it might work.  Afterwards, we will write a report to say what happened, if the service worked better and how the community group helped.

Transferring land and buildings to community groups

Under the new law, community groups can also make an ‘asset transfer request’ for any land or buildings that the council or any other relevant authority owns, or rents.  Relevant authorities also include the Scottish Government, health boards and some other bodies.  Groups can ask to buy or lease the land or buildings or have other legal rights, for example to occupy or use the land.             

The council, or other relevant body, must listen to what the community group wants to do with the land or building. If their plan will help people more than other ways of using it, the transfer will be allowed. A list of assets can be viewed here.

Find out more

Find out more about how to make a participation request on the your community pages or view our community asset register for details of the land and buildings the council owns or rents. 

You can also email communities.team@midlothian.gov.uk or telephone 0131 271 3338 for more information and advice.

22 Aug 2017