Community empowerment and common good property: consultation on draft guidance

Consultation on guidance for local authorities on how to fulfil the requirements of the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015.

Community Empowerment and Common Good Property: Consultation on Draft Guidance


1. This is a consultation on guidance for local authorities on how to fulfil the requirements of Part 8 of the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 in relation to Common Good property.

2. Common Good property is owned by local authorities and has been passed down, through local government reorganisation, from former burghs. Those burghs would have received it as a gift or purchased it. It includes land and buildings, moveable items such as furniture and art, and cash funds. There may be restrictions on how certain items of Common Good property are allowed to be used, and whether the local authority can dispose of them. In some cases this has to be decided by the courts. It is also worth noting that, due to the time which has passed, it is sometimes difficult to know whether property forms part of the Common Good.

Why we are consulting

3. Part 8 of the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 places new duties on local authorities in relation to Common Good property. This consultation concerns the statutory guidance related to these processes and asks for views on issues such as timescales, information about assets, local consultation and publicising proposals.

  • Section 102 places a duty on local authorities to "establish and maintain a register of property which is held by the authority as part of the common good."
  • Section 104 places a duty on local authorities "Before taking any decision to dispose of, or change the use of, such [common good] property the local authority must publish details about the proposed disposal or, as the case may be, the use to which the authority proposes to put the property."
  • Sections 103 and 105 require local authorities "to have regard to any guidance issued by the Scottish Ministers" in relation to these duties.

4. Part 8 does not define or redefine Common Good or remove or alter any restrictions on the use or disposal of Common Good property.

Responding to this Consultation

We are inviting responses to this consultation by 29 September 2017.

Please respond to this consultation using the Scottish Government's consultation platform, Citizen Space. You can view and respond to this consultation online at:

You can save and return to your responses while the consultation is still open. Please ensure that consultation responses are submitted before the closing date of 29 September 2017.

If you are unable to respond online, please complete the Respondent Information Form (see " Handling your Response" below) and send to:

Karen Fraser
Local Government and Analytical Services Division
Area 3G North
Victoria Quay

Handling your response

If you respond using Citizen Space (, you will be directed to the Respondent Information Form. Please indicate how you wish your response to be handled and, in particular, whether you are happy for your response to published.

If you are unable to respond via Citizen Space, please complete and return the Respondent Information Form attached to this document. If you ask for your response not to be published, we will regard it as confidential, and we will treat it accordingly.

All respondents should be aware that the Scottish Government is subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 and would therefore have to consider any request made to it under the Act for information relating to responses made to this consultation exercise.

Next steps in the process

Where respondents have given permission for their response to be made public, and after we have checked that they contain no potentially defamatory material, responses will be made available to the public at If you use Citizen Space to respond, you will receive a copy of your response by email.

Following the closing date, all responses will be analysed and considered along with any other available evidence to help us. Responses will be published where we have been given permission to do so.

Comments and complaints

If you have any comments about how this consultation exercise has been conducted, please e-mail them to:

Or you can contact us by post:

Karen Fraser
Local Government and Analytical Services Division
Area 3G North
Victoria Quay

Scottish Government consultation process

Consultation is an essential part of the policy-making process. It gives us the opportunity to consider your opinion and expertise on a proposed area of work.

You can find all our consultations online: Each consultation details the issues under consideration, as well as a way for you to give us your views, either online, by email or by post.

Consultations may involve seeking views in a number of different ways, such as public meetings, focus groups, or other online methods such as Dialogue (

Responses will be analysed and used as part of the decision making process, along with a range of other available information and evidence. We will publish a report of this analysis for every consultation. Depending on the nature of the consultation exercise the responses received may:

  • indicate the need for policy development or review
  • inform the development of a particular policy
  • help decisions to be made between alternative policy proposals
  • be used to finalise legislation before it is implemented

While details of particular circumstances described in a response to a consultation exercise may usefully inform the policy process, consultation exercises cannot address individual concerns and comments, which should be directed to the relevant public body.


Email: Common Good Guidance Consultation,

Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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