Aerial view of St. Andrews Fife Scotland

Scotland holding consultation on transformation of local economies

The Scottish Government has announced that it is beginning to consult the public on plans that will help them to grow local economies and ensure that funding stay ‘in the hands of communities.’ 

Coming as part of the new Community Wealth Building legislation, the new proposals are the first of their kind in the world and are being used to transform the economy in Scotland. 

Tom Arthur, Scottish Community Minister, said: 

“We want to create an economy which delivers prosperity for all of Scotland’s people and places. Community Wealth Building is about enabling people to have a stake in the wealth that their local economy generates. This is central to our plans to reform Scotland’s economy for the wellbeing of current and future generations. 

“While Community Wealth Building has grown in popularity in recent years, legislation has the potential to achieve more repaid benefits for communities, helping both people to earn incomes from fair work and more locally owned businesses to bid for public sector contracts. Mooney spent locally is more likely to stay in the local economy and support local jobs. 

This public consultation will inform a Community Wealth building Bill, which we will introduce to Parliament, to achieve these aims. I look forward to hearing a wide range of views on how we can use this process to transform our local economies to become greener, fairer and more prosperous.” 

Running for twelve weeks, the consultation was launched yesterday and will seek feedback from communities and businesses regarding proposals to: 

  • Place a legal duty on public bodies such as health authorities and local councils to use the economic levers they have – for example in sourcing goods and services – to support the transformation of local and regional economies. 

  • Promote co-operative, social enterprise and employee-owned businesses to ensure that more wealth that is generated locally, stays local. 

  • Create fair work opportunities for local people an those who face barriers to employment 

  • Ensure land and property are used for the benefit of local communities, businesses and the environment. 

Five pilot areas are also being supported with the development of Community Wealth Building action plans, with one of them being Fife. Leader of Fife Council, Cllr David Ross, said: 

“We are committed to creating a fairer Fife where we grow the local economy and everyone benefits from the wealth generated within our communities. That’s what community wealth building is about. In Fife, in conjunction with local partners, we are already forging ahead with ground-breaking changes to embed community wealth building so that local people, communities and businesses benefit now and into the future. 

“The pilot programme in Fife has seen us implementing progressive procurement practices that are helping local businesses to bid for public sector contracts, making sure local people receive the living wage and rolling out innovative training and recruitment programmes to ensure people have access to quality local jobs. Our key partners are all signed up to a charter to deliver change. 

“Whilst we have seen this significant progress locally, reform of legislation would provide powers for greater change, and we welcome the opportunity to help shape a future Community Wealth Building Bill.” 

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