ScotGov: Urban communities across Scotland could be given greater opportunities to own their own land & buildings under ideas for a new bill. Local Government Minister Derek Mackay has launched a wide ranging consultation exploring how to give local people a more direct say in what happen in their communities. Responses to the consultation will help shape the proposed Community Empowerment and Renewal Bill.
The consultation is exploratory and the views expressed on the ideas set out will help shape what goes forward in draft legislation.  The consultation runs until 29 August 2012.  

There will be a consultation on a draft Bill in spring 2013 with a view to legislation being ready for introduction to the Scottish Parliament in winter 2013.
Press release ~ A consultation on the proposed Community Empowerment and Renewal Bill
ScotGov: The Scottish Government has recently put forward proposals to further restrict the right to buy housing policy.  The proposed changes would cut the discounts available to those who wish to purchase their home through right to buy and place greater restrictions on where it would be available, for example, in areas where housing is in under particular pressure. 
The changes could lead to up to 20,000 fewer social homes being sold off over the next 10 years, helping to boost the stock of affordable homes for rent.  While the main focus of the consultation (closes on Thursday 30 August 2012) is on tightening the current rules around who qualifies for right to buy, it also raises the possibility of ending right to buy all together at some point in the future. 
Press release & links
ScotGov: The passage of the Scotland Act 2012 means that from April 2015 the Scottish Parliament will be empowered to introduce & manage taxes on the purchase or leasing of land & buildings and the disposal of waste to landfill. Mr Swinney has launched the consultation (closes on 30 August 2012) on a Land and Buildings Transaction Tax to replace Stamp Duty Land Tax.
The proposals include changing the structure of the tax to a progressive system where the amount of tax paid is more closely related to the value of the property. 2 other consultations will be issued before the end of 2012.
Mr Swinney also outlined his plans to establish Revenue Scotland, a small & efficient body which will work with Registers of Scotland and the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency to ensure the collection and administration of the taxes at a lower cost than that proposed by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs.
Press release & links
Adoption of Intelligent Automation in the Public Sector