COSLA manifesto calls for revolution in local democracy
Local authorities across Scotland are calling on politicians from all parties to launch a revolution in local democracy within the first few months after May’s Holyrood election.
The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) wants to harness the power of a more locally democratic way of doing things, and overhaul participation in decision making across the country.
The umbrella body has set out how to start that process right now in a #chooselocal manifesto which has already been endorsed by local politicians from across the spectrum.
COSLA has called on every parliamentary candidate to sign up to five key pledges that will “help set a course towards better and more equal outcomes for all of our communities” and can all be delivered within the first 100 days of the next Parliament.
The five pledges are:
2. Redraw the partnership between local and national government
3. Give communities financial choices
4. Open up Scottish democracy
5. Join up thinking on reform
Speaking as he launched #chooselocal, COSLA President Councillor David O’Neill said: “In just over six weeks Scotland goes to the polls.
“It’s a pivotal opportunity to think about the kind of country we want, and about the changes that could make a real difference to communities across the country.
“Live every local elected member, I already passionately believe in local democracy as a positive force for good.
“All of us within Scottish Local Government want to harness the power of a more local way of doing things, and overhaul participation in decision making across the country by bringing democracy closer to people.
“A series of independent reports have shown that it is time for this new, radical, local approach. Communities around across Europe are already feeling the benefits and there’s a buzz about what can be achieved here. It’s time to translate that energy into real action.
“However, we know that this simply won’t be possible without commitment from across the political spectrum and across all spheres of government.
“That’s why we’re asking every parliamentary candidate to sign up to 5 key pledges that will begin to put local democracy on the political map within Scotland.
“All five pledges can be delivered within the first 100 days of the next Parliament, and all can help set a course towards better and more equal outcomes for every community.”