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Local Governance Review

We want to devolve more power to more local levels.

We and COSLA have jointly launched a Local Governance Review, which will ensure local communities have more say about how public services in their area are run.

The Local Governance Review will consider how powers, responsibilities and resources are shared across national and local spheres of government, and with communities.

We have produced a short animation explaining what we are doing and how to get involved.

The review has two strands.

Strand 1: Community decision making

We are inviting people to join a conversation about community decision making, called Democracy Matters. The conversation will take place over a period of six months, ending around November 2018. What we hear will help to inform new legislation.

You can get involved by answering the questions contained in the consultation document: Democracy Matters - Your Community. Your Ideas. Your Future or by joining the conversation online.

The consultation document includes downloads of the following supporting materials:

  • overview of how decisions about Scotland's public services are made
  • guide to help you hold a conversation in your community
  • guide to facilitating a good conversation

We've also produced Democacy Matters: easy-read guide.

Your response should be sent to democracymatters@gov.scot or 'freepost DEMOCRACY MATTERS'. You can submit your response in whatever way makes the most sense to you, along with a respondent information form. Examples can be found in our guide to facilitating a good community conversation.

We recommend that you hold a community conversation and submit a community response. To help cover any costs associated with running community events you can apply to the Democracy Matters: Community Engagement Fund.

What comes next?

As the conversation builds, we'll share all that we hear so you can see for yourself the kind of changes people want most. As we understand how all of this could be made to work, we will share different ideas at a series of events later in 2018. All who have contributed to the discussion will be invited to attend, and tell us what makes most sense for their community.

A public consultation on any new laws that are required will follow, most likely in 2019. We encourage everyone to get involved, to help strengthen democracy and make Scotland a better place for all.

Strand 2: Public service governance

At the same time, we will be working with our public sector partners, such as local councils, to consider if increasing the powers they hold could improve outcomes for people.

Find more information in the Local Governance Review letter from Angela Constance MSP, John Swinney MSP and Councillor Alison Evison to public sector leaders regarding the engagement phase of the Local Governance Review.