Giving communities more say on how public services in their area are run is the aim of a new review being undertaken jointly by the Scotttish Government and COSLA, the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities. 

Launched today (7 December), the Local Governance Review will involve hearing from communities across Scotland to get a clear understanding of the type of changes that are needed, and how these can be made to happen.

The review will work with councils, community councils, community planning partnerships, regional partnerships, businesses and the third sector to explore what can bring about positive change. It promises that "The most important test of every change that is proposed will be what citizens themselves want to see happen."

It wants to hear as many different voices as possible from local communities in 2018, and is now appealing for ideas about how to open up the conversation as far and wide as possible, or about the type of changes people think should be part of the discussion. 

Communities Secretary Angela Constance commented: "The Scottish Government and COSLA stand together with the community sector to launch a comprehensive review of how decisions are taken about those things that matter most to local people.

"A transformation of local democracy can be best achieved by looking at how public services work with each other, and inviting communities to identify the powers and resources they need to thrive.

"National and local government know the only way to really put people and places first is if we listen carefully and with intent to what communities – large and small - want to see happen. We will take the conversation out into communities in the new year."

COSLA President Alison Evison added: "Scotland is a diverse place, and strong local democracy really does matter to people’s lives. One size cannot fit all. For the first time, this review will look at the changes that are needed across all public services, and local and national Government, to give communities more say in decisions that impact on them. This is an exciting challenge, and I look forward to what might be achieved."

Click here to access the review paper. The team can be contacted at