On 26th of February 2014, 34 Community Councillors from 28 Local Authority Areas met in Edinburgh for a facilitated forum on how to strengthen local democracy in Scotland.
The forum was developed by the Commission and facilitated by Dr Oliver Escobar from the Academy of Government at the University of Edinburgh. The session was designed to designed to maximise inclusion of every participant, including those who may be less inclined to speak in public or prefer other means of sharing their views.
This was done through a combination of small table discussions and plenary sessions, and based on both individual work reflected on the coloured-coded cards produced by participants, as well as group work comprising the prioritisation of key points at each table.
The forum comprised three sessions, each including group work and plenary deliberation, and organised around three questions:
- What is the Community Councils’ vision for local democracy?
- What are the current problems and challenges?
- What are the potential solutions and reforms?
The full report from the sessions can be downloaded here: Strengthening local democracy in Scotland: The Community Councils’ perspective
You can also get a flavour of the discussions that took place by watching some short interviews with people who took part:
What’s good about being involved in local democracy? Savio D’Souza, community councillor talks to the Commission
How do you get young people involved in local democracy? What can they contribute? Eleanor Kellock, Community Councillor for Clarkston at the Commission for Strengthening Local Democracy.
What can you change by getting involved in local democracy? James Kelly, Community Councillor tells the Commission about the issues that people in his area have spoken up on.