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Local Governance Review - public service governance: analysis of responses

An analysis of the responses received following the ask of public sector organisations to suggest alternative arrangements for public service governance as part of the first engagement phase of the Local Governance Review.


2. Purpose

The purpose of this report is to present a summary of the views expressed in the submissions to Strand 2 consultation of the Local Governance Review.

This report summarises the main issues reflected in the consultation responses. These issues do not necessarily reflect the views of the Improvement Service

Scottish Government and COSLA jointly launched the review in December 2017. A conversation with citizens on the future of community level decision making called Democracy Matters got underway in June 2018 (Strand 1). In parallel, public sector leaders were invited to submit their proposals for alternative governance arrangements at local, regional or national level which can improve outcomes and drive inclusive growth (Strand 2).

The Scottish Government 'Programme for Government 2018-19' confirmed "We have launched the Local Governance Review, jointly with COSLA, and the Democracy Matters conversation with communities across Scotland will continue throughout the remainder of 2018. The findings from the Review will be used to put in place new governance arrangements, and where legislation is needed we will deliver these through a Local Democracy Bill."

The review's remit is open, offering communities, Local Government, the wider public sector and others, an opportunity to place key issues relating to governance arrangements onto the reform agenda. It was anticipated that all public services would wish to support the process, based on an acceptance of increased variation in decision-making arrangements across the country. i.e. an explicit recognition that what is right for one place, will not necessarily be right for another.

The first strand of the review involved engagement with communities via 'Democracy Matters'. Across Scotland, people came together in their communities of place, interest and identity to discuss a short set of open questions which had been co-designed by a group comprising local and national government, equalities groups, business and academia. Community conversations were complemented by a series of regional events held in November 2018 which provided people with a sense of the emerging findings and an opportunity to take a deeper look at the key issues. A report detailing the Strand 1 engagement process and overall findings is also available.

For the second strand, involving local councils and all public bodies including Health, an initial scoping exercise was carried out by Professor James Mitchell, Chair in Public Policy, University of Edinburgh.

Subsequently a letter (attached at Appendix Two) was sent out to public bodies to invite them to be involved, as Scotland's public sector leaders, in a dialogue about how changes to how Scotland is governed might make the lives of Scotland's people better. This invited public bodies to bring forward proposals to feed into the review.

A series of COSLA workshops in November and December were an opportunity for officers to discuss draft proposals.

The strand 2 deadline for responses was 14 December 2018, however responses to the Strand 2 invitation submitted beyond the formal deadline of 14 December, until 31 January 2019, were considered and are reflected within this report.

44 strand 2 responses were received, including 20 from Councils, 6 from Community Planning Partnerships and 16 from other public bodies. There were also 2 individual responses taken into consideration.

Contact

Email: jen.swan@gov.scot

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