Local democracy

Is Scotland a hotbed of innovative approaches to local democracy right now?

That's a big claim, but there is quite a lot happening now that is worth knowing about if you are part of a community organisation wanting to have greater influence over local plans, decisions and services.

You can read about two major developments, the Community Empowerment Act and participatory budgeting elsewhere in the Policy Low-down section.

In this section we highlight some other recent, or current, developments. We've provided a couple of sentences on each policy below, and you can click on anything you're interested in for more information.



Integration of health and social care

The Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Act 2014 requires health boards and local authorities to bring together a range of health and social care services. There could be opportunities under this legislation for community organisations to have an increased role in planning local health and social care services.


Local Governance Review

As part of its Local Governance Review, the Scottish Government has set up a national consultation called Democracy Matters. This invites community organisations across the country to contribute ideas on how to improve local democracy.


Planning reform

The Planning Bill proposes changes to how planning of building developments is carried out in Scotland. The bill outlines a new way for communities to feed into the planning system called local place plans (LPPs).


Children’s Services Plans

As part of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014, community organisations that represent the interests of children and young people should be consulted as part of the preparation of Children’s Services Plans.


Community Justice Outcome Improvement Plans

The Community Justice (Scotland) Act 2016 creates opportunities for community organisations  to participate in the development of Community Justice Outcomes Improvement Plans. 


Community Learning and Development plans

Under the Community Learning and Development (Scotland) Regulations 2013, community planning partners must engage with communities to identify need and plan community learning and development (CLD) in their area.


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