Stage Two Work Begins

10 January sees stage two of the Commission on Strengthening Local Democracy get underway with the first of 11 evidence gathering panel sessions taking place.

Chair of the Commission, Councillor David O’Neill said:  “This Commission is about starting a debate.   We are now starting the next phase in our commitment to listen to communities and put their views at the heart of all our work.

“We have already received hundreds of submissions to our initial call for evidence from people in all walks of life, and from all sorts of places.  And what’s been clear is that people really value strong local democracy.  But we have no intention of stopping there.  Over the next two months we want to get to bottom of why local matters, and what the future might look like.

“For example, today we are launching 11 panel sessions involving commission members and the people and organisations that can help us get to the bottom of what we’ve heard so far.   This new way of working looks set to provide exciting new thinking.  We’ll be reporting the main messages, together with our wider ongoing programme of engagement and listening at the COSLA/IS Annual Conference in mid- March.

“We are also determined not to shut anyone out of the debate.  That’s why all of our sessions will be available to watch and interact with live at

“Let me also be clear that this Commission is about local democracy, not just about local government, and that these are two different things.  That is why our focus is not on protecting the status quo, or a grab for power, but on exploring the evidence about why better outcomes in Scotland need strong local democracy”.


Notes to Editors

  • Access to each webcast will be available from the Local Democracy website at
  • Each session will be archived and available to view on demand for a time period after each session takes place
  • A list of current evidence sessions, including dates and themes is listed below

10/01/2014: Governance and democratic accountability (1400 – 1600)

16/01/2014: Local Empowerment, Participation & Community Capacity (1300 – 1600)

17/01/2014: Rights, fairness and inequality (1300 – 1600)

22/01/2014: Scotland’s Political Parties and local democracy (Time TBC)

30/01/2014: Local Financial control and resources (1000 – 1200)

05/02/2014: Partnership and Integration (Time TBC)

07/02/2014: A Workforce for the Future (Time TBC)

11/02/2014: Local democracy in UK and international context (Time TBC)

14/02/2014: Improvement, Effectiveness and Value (1300 – 1600)

20/02/2014: Achieving better outcomes for communities (Time TBC)

25/02/2014: Economy, jobs and growth (Time TBC)

David J Kennedy

 t: 0131 474 9205

m: 07788 452710