Two out of three Scots would be willing to pay more in Council Tax if they could be guaranteed that the money raised was to be spent on local services such as schools and care for older people.
More than seven in ten people feel that one size does not fit all in terms of service delivery and that local services should be delivered in ways that meet the needs of local people in their area.
Less than half of people think that Councils have enough money to deliver the services that they think their community needs.
These are just three of the findings contained within a new Scottish Public Opinion Survey undertaken by MORI on behalf of Scotland’s first Commission on Strengthening Local Democracy.
Speaking on behalf of the Commission as the findings were released, COSLA President Councillor David O’Neill said: “This Commission is all about starting a debate. When it was launched we said that we would listen to communities and that their views would be at the heart of all our work”.
“This work undertaken by MORI is about getting to the heart of what the people of Scotland think matters, not the things that politicians tell them that matter. It is one part of our bigger commitment to ask some new questions about why doing things locally matters, and what stronger local democracy in Scotland might look like”.
“For example, we’ve also seen hundreds of people from all walks of life, and from across Europe, come forward with ideas as part of our call for evidence. That is fantastic and shows that the issues the Commission wants to hear about chime with what people in Scotland care about and want to talk about”.
Councillor O’Neill concluded: “Scotland has never tried anything like this before. We are breaking new ground by offering a mature and evidence based debate about the kind of democracy we want, regardless of the outcome of the Referendum in September”.
“As a collective, we want to deliver real change and we want to influence change elsewhere. It is only once we have finished collecting evidence that we will be able to draw any conclusions as a Commission. But it is hugely encouraging that both our call for evidence and our polling work are already showing that right across the country there is a growing appetite for a serious discussion about why local services and local accountability matter and how we strengthen them in Scotland’s future”.
David J Kennedy m: 07788 452710 e: firstname.lastname@example.org