This week saw the Local Government and Regeneration Committee continue its consideration of amendments to the Community Empowerment Bill at Stage 2.
The Community Empowerment Bill is of significant interest to the Third Sector as it is looking directly at land and asset issues including Community Right To Buy, Asset Transfers, Common Good Properties and Allotments.
CRNS supports the amendments agreed this week as they strengthen the involvement of communities within local decision making. Specifically:
- When a community’s request to participate in improving their local area is refused by a public body they can then appeal to Scottish ministers to have the decision reviewed.
- Communities should also be able to appeal where they have been granted the right to participate but have significant concerns about how the process is being undertaken.
The Community Empowerment Bill now continues at Stage 2. For more information on the Bill go to:
UK Government Budget
In the UK Budget this week was some support for the third sector, including the increase in the small donations Gift Aid Scheme allowance and support for social investment in the third sector.
Some specific details of note to the third sector:
There is the need to make £30 billion of savings by 2017-18 – £12 billion of that will come from welfare savings. That continues to have implications for our sector.
The National Minimum Wage is set to increase from £6.50 to £6.70 per hour. This is the start of an increase to £8.00 per hour by 2020.
It was announced there will be a UK government review of Business Rates, although Business Rates are a devolved matter this review may spark conversations in Scotland on how the system currently operates and affects our sector.
The UK government is looking to introduce legislation in order to increase the maximum annual donation amount which can be claimed through the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme (GASDS) to £8,000, up from £5,000.
More Budget details here: