About this report
1.1 This report provides an analysis of responses to the Scottish Government consultation on draft regulations associated with asset transfer under the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015.
1.2 The Scottish Government is committed to transferring more power to communities and supporting communities to lead their own change. Empowering communities is key to the Government's approach to making Scotland a better place to live, for everyone. It can contribute to a range of benefits, building stronger communities through enhancing democratic participation, increasing confidence and skills among local people, increasing volunteering, creating better and more responsive services, and increasing satisfaction with overall quality of life.
1.3 The Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act builds on the Scottish Government's recent work to support and promote transfer of public sector assets to communities.
1.4 Part 5 of the Act provides a right for community bodies to request the transfer of land and buildings belonging to public authorities. The Act sets out a framework for the asset transfer scheme and gives Scottish Ministers powers to make regulations to fill in the detail of the procedures to be followed.
1.5 The text of the Act is available at:
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/asp/2015/6/part/5. More information about how Act has been developed and is being implemented can be found on the Scottish Government website at:
1.6 The Scottish Government consulted on regulations associated with asset transfer from 20 March to 20 June 2016. The consultation paper asked for views on draft regulations for making and responding to requests, for review or appeal of decisions, and on registers of land.
1.7 The Scottish Government received and organised all consultation responses - either through the online consultation platform (Citizen Space), by email or post. We (Research Scotland) were provided with secure access to all responses for analysis.
1.8 We downloaded all responses to Excel - in order to analyse quantitative (yes/no/not answered) responses and qualitative (open-ended) responses.
1.9 Eleven non-standard responses were received, which did not follow the consultation structure, and these were carefully read and comments, whether quantitative and/ or qualitative, were input against the relevant consultation questions.
1.10 We undertook quantitative analysis using Excel in order to produce a table for each quantitative question, highlighting overall responses and a breakdown by respondent category. We have included relevant tables and figures throughout our report.
1.11 We analysed qualitative (open) responses using a process of manual thematic coding. This involves reviewing the open responses and manually coding the themes identified by each respondent. The qualitative analysis process enabled us to extract the main themes from each question which allowed the range of views to be presented across all responses and trends among respondent groups to be highlighted. We have identified some organisational respondents by name or type, where we had the required permissions and it was relevant.
1.12 We used a consistent scale to describe the number of respondents making similar points. Where five or fewer respondents made a similar point we used the term 'a few'. 'Some' is used for six to ten respondents, and 'many' is used for 11 to 20 respondents. Where more than 20 respondents made a similar point, we used the term 'a large number'.
1.13 In a few cases, open comments conflicted with 'yes' or 'no' responses. This occurred in questions 15 and 16. We have highlighted this issue in the analysis of these questions.
Profile of respondents
1.14 A total of 82 responses were received to the consultation - 79 from organisations and 3 from individuals. One local authority submitted an identical response to the response submitted by the Community Planning Partnership for the same area and was not included in the analysis to avoid duplication. The quantitative analysis is therefore based on a total of 81 responses.
1.15 More than half (46) of respondents completed the consultation through Citizen's Space. Thirty-five responses were submitted by email or post.
1.16 We worked with the Scottish Government to agree seven broad respondent categories. We used these groups for quantitative analysis and to highlight key themes, commonalities or divergencies within or between groups for qualitative analsysis.
|Respondent group ||Number||Proportion of total responses|
|Community Representative/Support Organisation||16||20%|
|Other Relevant Authorities||14||17%|
|Community Planning Partnerships/Health and Social Care Partnerships ( CPP/ HSCPs)*||10||12%|
*Community Planning Partnerships and Health and Social Care Partnerships is abbreviated to CPP/ HSCPs throughout this report
1.17 The respondent categories were developed to reflect different interests and roles in relation to asset transfers. Respondents in local authority, NHS, CPP/ HSCPs, and 'other relevant authority' categories were all either relevant authorities under the terms of the Act (and could therefore be subject to asset transfer requests) or had a particular interest in the role of relevant authorities. The remaining respondent categories represented wider interests, including potential community transfer bodies (organisations that can submit an asset transfer request).
1.18 Of the 81 responses included in the analysis, 79 gave permission for their response to be published by the Scottish Government. These full responses can also be viewed here: https://consult.scotland.gov.uk/community-empowerment-unit/asset-transfer-procedures/consultation/published_select_respondent. Annex One of this report is a list of the organisational respondents that gave permission for their response and name to be published.