Chance to input to community engagement survey

21 May 2019

This weeks blog post has been written by Helen Barton & Kirsty Tait, Community Engagement Advisors at the Scottish Land Commission. 

Genuine community engagement is good for land owners because it can reduce potential conflict, help make businesses more resilient and promote innovation. Meanwhile communities are better informed and people will have a better opportunity to engage, understand and influence potential change and opportunities around land use decisions that affect them. 

The Scottish Land Commission is supporting land owners, land managers and communities to work together to make better – and fairer – decisions about land use where they have a significant impact on local communities with the publication of its first Protocol on Community Engagement in Decisions Relating to Land. The Protocol supports the Guidance on engaging communities in decisions relating to land, which was published by the Scottish Government in April last year.  

By taking a snapshot of how community engagement is currently undertaken in Scotland now, we can find out more about what happens in different circumstances and geographic areas; and measure the effectiveness of existing community engagement practices.

We would like to hear from anyone with control over the way land is used or managed in both urban and rural Scotland. The survey is relevant for all private and public sector owners of land and buildings, including individuals, companies, charities and trusts, non-governmental organisations and community owners. It is also relevant to tenants of any sort who have control over land and make decisions about its use that have an impact on other parts of the community.

In the survey, we are looking to find out how many respondents are aware of the Scottish Government’s guidance as well as the Commission’s own Protocol for Community Engagement, which sets out general and specific expectations for owners and managers of land.

It is also important to get an idea of what community engagement is happening now to not only use as a baseline measure but also to see if there are any lessons we can learn from current practices and any aspects of engagement that owners and managers find challenging. 

And so, we would like to hear from as many members of Scottish Land and Estates as possible, to make sure we have a good cross-section of views represented across different types of land management and geographic areas. We want to hear about you experiences of engaging with local communities and any challenges you face. There are no right or wrong answers and no judgements are made, and we ask would encourage you to answer the questions as openly and honestly as you can to best inform the future direction of our community engagement work.

The information provided does not include any personal identifying information. We will collate and analyse the responses to see where there are trends by area and sector. Statistical information and anonymised comments will be analysed and may be shared in summary form with the Scottish Government and other organisations such as Scottish Land and Estates. Your feedback will inform what future work is needed by us or other organisations to support people who own and manage land across Scotland to engage well with communities affected by significant decisions made. 

The survey is now open for responses and can be found here.