As the COVID-19 pandemic impacts our towns and cities, it has been more important than ever for communities to learn about different approaches they can use to not only revive the urban environment but to thrive and flourish in it.
Our Community Development Officer Reza, alongside our fantastic Community Development volunteers, has been working with refugee-led and -assisting community groups across Scotland to raise awareness of the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act and how they can benefit from it.
What is the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act?
The Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act was passed in 2015 and was implemented in various stages. It recognises that central and local government needs to support and empower communities to create a more prosperous and fairer Scotland for everyone. It seeks to achieve this through enabling ownership or control of land or property, and strengthening voices in decisions about public services. The legislation has also created new responsibilities and powers for local authorities in Scotland to help empower communities.
What have we been doing?
Reza has been running information sessions with New Scots community groups in Glasgow to improve knowledge of various strands of Community Empowerment, including Participatory Budgeting, Participation Requests and Community Asset Transfer.
“At the start of 2021, I had an assignment to work with Glasgow City Council in making the objectives, structures and processes of the Act more accessible to Glasgow-based refugee communities. We successfully developed a set of documents, videos and delivered several workshops for refugee community leaders.
“We are now providing ongoing support to communities who wish to pursue different elements of the Act and have been working with some of our active refugee-led groups to support them at this difficult time in their Community Asset Transfer journey.
“I genuinely hope that this project – in particular Community Asset Transfer – can be a driving force in supporting our communities to come together & flourish.”
Feedback from participants
Rose, Project Coordinator at Isaro Community Initiative in Clydebank, a group who run a wide range of services supporting the integration of New Scots and promoting climate action, says:
“The workshop on the Community Empowerment Act provided very useful information we were not aware of, particularly regarding community assets ownership. It has given us the confidence to start the process of leasing or acquiring a community asset as a way to sustain our work.”
Videos: how can the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act benefit new Scots communities?
Community Asset Transfer
If you would like to find out more, contact Reza.Karimi@scottishrefugeecouncil.org.uk.
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