Local authorities are encouraged to engage in a “pre-application” stage. This stage is not obligatory but is intended to allow dialogue and discussion that would facilitate the next stage in the process to request an additional power.
A summary of the recommended steps in the pre-application stage is set out below.
The local authority should identify the additional power that they may wish to request and, in doing so, consider the needs and benefits that such additional power would bring to their island communities.
Notify other relevant local authorities
Discussions between all the relevant local authorities should take place in order to ensure that every local authority is sighted on a proposal. Moreover, while joint applications are not provided for in the Regulations, if more than one local authority is considering requesting the same additional power there may be merit in similar applications being submitted simultaneously.
Contact Scottish Government
It is recommended that the local authority contact Scottish Government officials to alert them to their interest in potentially submitting an additional powers request and the nature of it.
Discussion among stakeholders
It is encouraged that a discussion be arranged between the local authority, Scottish Government officials and any other appropriate stakeholders to consider issues such as legislative competence, practicalities, financial impacts and any relevant impact assessments. This discussion will provide an opportunity to identify steps necessary to resolve any issues and it may also save time and discussion at a later stage.
Decision on whether to proceed to consultation
Finally, if the local authority is minded to proceed to make a formal request, before doing so they must carry out a consultation.
Any comments, questions or suggestions about this guidance can be directed to the Local Government Policy and Relationships Team at the Scottish Government. You can contact the Scottish Government switchboard on 0300 244 4000 and they will direct you to the appropriate contacts.