What’s been happening with participation requests?

Participation requests are a way for community groups to start a dialogue with public bodies about improving how services are designed and delivered. A new article by the Local Government Information Unit (LGIU) summarises which local authorities they have been made to, which groups have made them and what they led to.

(note: the information is limited to participation requests to local authorities - where most participation requests have been made so far. SCDC is aware that a small number have also been made to health boards and other public bodies)

Highlights include:

  • 31 participation requests were made to local authorities between April 2017 and Decembed 2018.

  • 18 of these were granted and 9 refused. Decisions were still pending for the other 4 at 31st Dec 2018.

  • 21 were made by community councils.

  • 10 were made by other community organisations.

The report comments that most local authorities have information about participation requests available online and that local authorities are “taking proper account of their responsibilities under the [Community Empowerment] Act”.

However it also notes that information is not always easy to find and that there have been issues around the validation of requests.

Read the full report on Scottish Community Alliance’s website.

SCDC’s view is that, with the right support and guidance in place, participation requests offer an opportunity for genuine co-production of public services. However, the making, and granting, of a participation request is only the begininning of the process and where the meaningful dialogue and collaborative working should start.

See SCDC’s blog on this on the Scottish Coporduction Network website. Also, see our Policy Low-down section on Communites Channel Scotland for an accessible introduction to what participation requests are.