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The SDSS Blog

Have your say about local communities deciding their own future.

Date posted: October 16, 2018

The Scottish Government is consulting on local decision making in Scotland, saying:

‘In recent years, something has begun to change. There is a growing recognition that it is often better for decisions about the issues that affect different communities in Scotland to be taken with more active involvement of those communities. Whether that is communities in different places organising at a very local level, or communities with a shared interest organising at a more regional level. This enables public services to work in ways which meet local circumstances and reflect the priorities of different communities.

Citizens are also getting involved in many different ways to decide what will most help their community, neighbourhood, or town to thrive. For example, Scotland has a vibrant Community Development Trust movement, community based Housing Associations deliver much more than affordable housing, and early interest in Participatory Budgeting shows people want a direct say over how public money is used in their area.

All of this is a matter of democracy, and democracy matters. But for many people, decision-making can feel like something that happens far away. And for some groups, like disabled people, ethnic minorities or those living with poverty, there are barriers to getting equally involved.’

We would like to encourage you to take part in this consultation, and you can find out more here.

Responses can be submitted by email: and you can join the online conversation, submitting your thoughts and ideas here.

If you want to hold a community conversation (remembering that a community can be a community of interest, not just a geographic community) and submit a community response, to help cover any costs associated with running community events you can apply to the Democracy Matters: Community Engagement Fund.

The deadline for responses is the end of November 2018.

SDSS are keen to submit a response to this consultation as well, so please do share your thoughts and ideas with us too, and let us know if you would like us to hold an event to discuss ideas further:

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