Last month we gave extracts from some of the party manifestos for the Scottish Parliament elections. Following the election result it is worth revisiting some of the key community development related points that we quoted from the SNP manifesto, since these may be a guide to future actions by the new ministerial team (subject to any consequences of the absence of an overall majority).
“Review the roles and responsibilities of local authorities and the relationships between local authorities and health boards. We aim to transform our democratic landscape, protect and renew public services and refresh the relationship between citizens, communities and councils:-
- Consult on and introduce a Bill that will decentralise local authority functions, budgets and democratic oversight to local communities
- Review and reform the role of Community Planning Partnerships so they are better placed to drive reform, including through use of citizens’ panels and town hall meetings
Build on the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act by:-
- Setting councils a target of having at least 1 per cent of their budget subject to Community Choices budgeting. This will be backed by the Community Choices Fund.
- Allowing community councils that can demonstrate a strong democratic mandate to deliver some services. We intend that in future community council elections will be held on the same day across the country to increase their profile and recognition.
Extend to individual schools responsibilities that currently sit solely with local authorities, allocate more resources directly to headteachers and enable them to take decisions based on local circumstances. Encourage school clusters and create new educational regions to decentralise management and support.
Recruit at least 250 Community Link Workers to work in GP surgeries and direct people to local services and support [in deprived communities]
Give greater recognition and weighting to community involvement and support in making future decisions social about investment in community sport facilities … increase the number of Community Sports Hubs to 200 by 2020.
Use new powers to establish social and economic rights for Scotland over all matters we have responsibility for and to further embed the European Convention on Human Rights in Scotland. Invite a cross party group, including civic society, to establish a collaborative process, engaging with people across Scotland and learning from best global practice in participatory democracy, to advise on the guaranteed protections we should seek to enshrine in law.
[Place] a duty on Housing Associations and councils to consult with tenants on the management of homes.”