As a Commission, we believe that local services and local accountability matter. That is why we started our work by asking for views about what happens now, and what the future might be.
This initial call for evidence was launched in October 2013 and closed in December 2013. The call for evidence sought views on a range of questions, including:
- Do you think that decisions about local issues and services are local enough?
- How important do you think it is for locally elected people to be responsible for local services?
- How well are local priorities part of how national and local government works at the moment?
- What do you think should be done to strengthen local democratic decision making?
- Has there been enough discussion about local democracy in the debate about Scotland’s future?
- Do you have any concerns about strengthening local democracy?
In all, 209 responses were received from a range of individuals and organisations in Scotland, the UK and Europe.
We asked an independent research agency to publish a report based on what people have told us. They analysed all of the submissions that were received and identified ten key themes that emerged from these.
More than 4 out of 5 respondents who gave an opinion felt that decisions about local issues and services are not made locally enough in Scotland at the moment.
Many respondents said that it is very important for locally elected people to be responsible for decisions about local issues and services; over half of those who commented included a statement to that effect. However, in looking at the comments it seems that many respondents, particularly individual respondents, feel that this is not happening.
Responses from almost half of those who addressed this question indicated a feeling that local priorities are not well accounted for in the way that national and local government works at the moment.
Around half of the respondents who commented on this question felt there had been little, if any, discussion about local democracy in the debate about Scotland’s future.
Responses to the Call for Evidence
We have published all of the submissions that were received, where we were given permission to do so by respondents. We have ordered these according to whether respondents classed themselves as responding as individuals or on behalf organisations. You can view all of the responses by selecting the links below: