COSLA’s Vision for Local Democracy

COSLA’s Vision for Local Democracy
Scottish Community Alliance

What do we really want from local democracy? Is it just a vehicle for delivering decent public services?  Or should it be the means by which we flex our democratic muscle and assert some local control over the state?  While no one in Holyrood will commit themselves (yet) to the idea of reorganisation, few would dispute that the current arrangement of 32 local councils is seriously flawed. 


Considered too large to be truly local but too many to be cost-effective, our councils are neither one thing nor the other. The frequently scratchy relationship between national and local government only serves to accentuate a sense of national ambivalence about where real political power in this country should lie. That said, COSLA’s Vision for Local Democracy has been a welcome injection of new thinking, making the case for real power and decision making to be devolved as far from the centre as possible.  


This week COSLA went a step further with the launch of its Commission on Strengthening Local Democracy.  The remit of this Commission is far reaching and its membership extends way beyond COSLA’s core grouping. This could be interesting.


See full briefings at