The Scottish Government has launched the next phase of its Local Governance Review, inviting people to join a conversation called ‘Democracy Matters’

The campaign asks five key questions about how decisions should be made at a more local level. It asks whether communities, of place or identity, should have more control of decisions and what those might be. It also asks how this should look and what new or existing decision-making processes could be used.

The Local Governance Review was launched earlier in the year aims to find out what changes are needed to encourage a more local, participatory and inclusive democracy in Scotland.

The review encourages people to hold conversations in their communities to discuss Democracy Matters and includes a community engagement fund where groups can apply for £100 – £300 to help make conversations happen. They have also published guidance about how the discussion might work and how it could be facilitated.

short animation summaries the review and the five questions being asked:

“In modern Scotland power must work in a way that involves and benefits everyone. To get this right, we will review how responsibilities and resources can be shared across national and local government in a way that delivers the greatest benefit to Scotland’s different places. However, the starting point must be with our citizens and the power and potential within our communities themselves.”

There are 3 sections in the consultation with related questions…

  • Section 1: Communities more in control – a good idea to begin with?
    • Q1. Tell us about your experiences of getting involved in decision-making
      processes that affect your local community or community of interest.
    • Q2. Would you like your local community or community of interest to have more control over some decisions? If yes, what sorts of issues would those
      decisions cover?
  • Section 2: Communities more in control – how could it work in practice?
    • Q3. When thinking about decisionmaking, ‘local’ could mean a large
      town, a village, or a neighbourhood. What does ‘local’ mean to you and your community?
    • Q4. Are there existing forms of local level decision-making which could play a part in exercising new local powers? Are there new forms of local decisionmaking that could work well? What kinds of changes might be needed for this to work in practice?
  • Section 3: Communities more in control – what is most important to know before we go any further?
    • Q5. Do you have any other comments, ideas or questions? Is there more you
      want to know?