An additional powers request is a scheme by which a relevant local authority can request that the Scottish Ministers promote legislation devolving a function to them, or that the Scottish Ministers transfer an additional function, duty or responsibility to them.
An additional powers request can only be made by the six relevant local authorities. Requests cannot be made by any other organisation, group or individual.
Prior to making an additional powers request, a relevant local authority must be satisfied that it can demonstrate reasonable cause for requesting an additional power from the Scottish Ministers. There may be many factors that play into that, for example evidence of community support for the additional power, or outcomes that could be improved by the local authority exercising the additional power.
It should also be borne in mind that these Regulations are made under the Act, the purpose of which is to support and help meet unique needs of Scotland’s islands. An additional power must therefore benefit island communities. Local authorities who have mainland and island residents will want to be particularly mindful of this when considering the merits of making an additional powers request.
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.