Cllr David O’Neill, Chair of the Commission on Strengthening Local Democracy, responded to the Scottish Rural Parliament’s call for local democratic renewal with his support.
Scotland’s first Rural Parliament closed with a call for action to achieve a more empowered, connected and sustainable rural Scotland. And delegates agreed to ask the Scottish Government to commit to a national conversation on local democratic renewal as a first step towards radical reform of local government that will bring power much closer to communities. More information.
Scottish Rural Parliament
12 November 2014
THE SCOTTISH RURAL PARLIAMENT
I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for inviting me to Scotland’s first Rural Parliament last week.
The event was an inspiring example of the need to fundamentally transform how we ‘do’ democracy in this country. I know that the job of strengthening local democracy was also a key issue in both the run up to the meeting, and throughout the sessions themselves. That very much chimes with my own experience, and that is why I wanted to use my time with the rural parliamentarians to add my own weight to that goal. I enjoyed the opportunity to think through just some of the many opportunities.
I believe that this is an exciting time for democracy, and like you, I want to take the debate in Scotland into new territory. Indeed, as Scotland looks to its democratic future, I want to make sure that the debate is not just about further powers for Scotland, but how those powers are used to put communities in charge of their priorities, their spending and their futures.
That is why I am determined to create a situation where local communities have more say; where different needs are met with different solutions; and where new ideas can flourish. I know that the Rural Parliament is passionate about that task too, and I would be delighted to continue the conversation with you. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch using the contact details at the bottom of this letter.
Councillor David O’Neill
Chair of the Commission and President of COSLA