Local Governance Review

We want to devolve more power to more local levels.

We jointly launched the Local Governance Review with COSLA to ensure Scotland’s diverse communities and different places have greater control and influence over decisions that affect them most. 

The review will do this by considering how powers, responsibilities and resources are shared across national and local spheres of government, and with communities.

Plans for second phase 

On 28 November 2019, the Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government and the COSLA President, sent a letter to all public sector leaders, updating them on the next phase of the Local Governance Review and inviting them to get involved in developing and testing ideas for alternative governance arrangements with the most transformative potential. 

in 2021, we plan to continue the Democracy Matters conversations with communities on the future of local decision-making and challenge people to design new autonomous and democratically accountable decision-making bodies that work best for them. 

We are encouraging everyone to get involved and help strengthen democracy in a way that makes Scotland a better place for all. If you want to stay in touch, you can sign up to our newsletter, email us at democracymatters@gov.scot and follow us on Twitter @CommEmpower.

First phase findings

On 16 May 2019 Aileen Campbell MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government COSLA President shared the reports based on the analysis of responses to the first engagement phase of the Local Governance Review  and outlined next steps in a joint statement

These reports reflects what we heard from over 4,000 people who took part in #DemocracyMatters conversations about the future of community decision-making. At hundreds of events across Scotland, people discussed whether their community should be able to take more decisions about a whole range of public services, and the benefits this might bring.

The Democracy Matters conversation was framed by a small set of open questions found in the consultation document: Democracy Matters - Your Community. Your Ideas. Your Future. A Democracy Matters: easy-read guide was also available.

We have produced the following as a result of these conversations:-

At the same time as ‘Democracy Matters’, more than 40 public sector partners submitted proposals for alternative governance arrangements designed to improve outcomes for people and drive inclusive growth in the places they serve. These proposals were sent in response to a letter from the Scottish Government and COSLA to Scotland’s public sector leaders. We published a report detailing this analysis of alternative governance arrangements on 16 May 2019.