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Scottish Government's Programme for Scotland 2017-18

September 6, 2017

The Scottish Government has set out its Programme for Government 2017-18, which sets out how it will build on existing work with a fresh set of priorities.

We've identified some of the statements within the programme that stand out in relation to community development, including priorities around participatory budgeting, local democracy and funding for community empowerment.


The Scottish Government states that it believes  the best people to decide the future of our communities are the people who live in those communities, and that it will continue reforms around local decision making invoving communities. The Government states it will:

decentralise power to a more local level in Scotland and launch a comprehensive review of local governance ahead of a Local Democracy Bill later in this Parliament

support those island authorities who want to establish a single authority model of delivering local services - including health and social care. We will support proposals that are developed with stakeholders, including trade unions, and which clearly improve people's lives, create efficiencies and protect local democracy and our NHS

support hundreds of community organisations to deliver locally identified priorities to tackle poverty and inequality through our Empowering Communities Fund

invest £10 million in 113 community projects as part of the Climate Challenge Fund, empowering local communities to deliver local solutions to climate change

invest £2 million in the Community Choices Fund to support participatory budgeting - handing decision-making on budgets direct to communities

work with local government on having at least 1% of council budgets subject to community choices budgeting

investigate the scope to expand our support to employee ownership, including social care co‑operatives' role in the delivery of services

Community wealth building

The programme outlines how the Government will support the involvement of local communities in economic planing by:

working with anchor institutions to consider how procurement activity can be better used to support local economic activity

helping local enterprises to supply goods and services to these anchor institutions - keeping money within communities

Social security and poverty

Building on the Social Security Bill, the Scottish Government has set up Experience Panels, in which 2,400 people from across Scotland with direct personal experience of the social security system will help shape the design of Scotland's new social security agency and services.

The Government has also established a Poverty and Inequality Commission to provide advice and challenge to the Government on actions to address poverty. There is also a commitment to further exporing a citizen's basic income.

Reform of the planning system

A Planning Bill will be introduced which intends among other things to give people a greater say in the future of their places.

Reinvigorating volunteering

There are also some statements about supporting volunteering, particulalry around supporting groups  facing barriers to engaging in their communities, including disabled people, older people and people out of work.  Youth volunteering is also identified as a prioirity.


There are also statements around land reform, equality and human rights, prejudice and intolerence, homelessness and open government.

See the full Programme for Government here.

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