Local Governance Review - democracy matters: easy read

An easy read version of a short set of questions to support a conversation with people about local communities deciding their own future.

1. Information about the Local Governance Review.

two MPs,MSPs or local councillors standing

Lots of people make decisions for us. Some examples are:

  • Members of Parliament ( MP)
  • Members of the Scottish Parliament ( MSP)
  • Local Councillors
  • Public services workers, like doctors, police, and social workers.
An MP, MSP or Local Councillor talking to a person in a wheelchair

The decisions they make affect our lives in all sorts of ways. For example, social care, helping us to stay safe and healthy, or helping us to get work.

Different communities and communities of interest think that ordinary people should be able to get involved in making decisions about their lives and the services their community needs.

A person talking to somone about the ideas they have had to improve their local comminity

Some people in communities already get involved in ways to decide what will help their community, area, or town. For example, we have:

A person recieving housing support to from a local Councillor
  • Community Development Trusts – these give communities support to have more control over local decisions.
  • Housing Associations – these provide housing and community support.
  • Participatory Budgeting – this is a way to have a say over how public money is used in your area.
A group of people taking part in discussion

All of these are examples of local democracy. But there are many barriers that stop some groups being included in local decision making. Disabled people, black and minority ethnic people and those living in poverty often find it difficult to get involved.

A disabled individual struggling with stairs into a Local Council meeting

Power in Scotland must work in a way that involves and benefits everyone. The local governance review will look at what needs to change to enable national and local government to deliver the greatest benefit to Scotland’s different places.

The Scottish Government want people and communities to be supported to take on more power and responsibility.

A group having a discussion A local community standing together

The Scottish Government wants to hear your voice and the voices of your friends and neighbours. They want to find out what local communities think about having more power.

A diverse group of people gathered talking

The Scottish Government thinks communities being more in control will be exciting and improve people’s lives. They want to know what you think about these things:

A Government body gathered discussing communities having a voice
  • Communities having a stronger voice when decisions are taken.
  • Communities having powers and resources to use as they think best.
  • Local areas or communities of interest taking on more power.
  • What your community needs to make this a success.
  • How we can make sure any changes help people be more equal and support difference.
A community being asked what they think

The questions in this paper will help begin a conversation in communities about the kind of changes they think are needed. The Scottish Government wants to hear as many voices as possible. This includes people who often find it difficult to take part, like disabled people.

Find out more.

Our web page has information about Scotland’s public services and how decisions are made. You can find out how else you can be involved in the review.

Someone finding out more online

You can email us at

a written letter

You can send a letter to this simple address: "freepost DEMOCRACY MATTERS" (please use capital letters).

A group of people viewing a presentation

We will share what we hear so you can find out the kind of changes people most want. We will share different ideas at events later in 2018. Everyone who took part will be invited to attend to tell us what makes most sense for their community.

A Government body working with the community to see what they think

We will also work with councils, public services and local organisations to find out what they think is needed to make a difference.

a diverse group of people standing outside a building

If new laws are needed to make the changes happen, we will ask the public about this next year.

Please get involved. You can help to make Scotland a better place for all.


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