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Highland Council supports moves to improve local democracy

6th September 2018

The Highland Council is encouraging local community groups to participate in the Scottish Government's Local Governance Review.

Members have today considered the work to date preparing for The Highland Council's contribution to the Local Governance Review.

Members have a keen interest in how local democracy can work better and a number of actions are being taken forward by the Council to enable more local decision-making.

The Council has been involved in and led a range of initiatives to enable communities to make decisions for themselves following on from the Community Empowerment Act. The Community Choices Fund to support participatory budgeting is an example of this which has resulted in very successful events across Highland where communities have awarded funding to a variety of local causes and groups.

The Council will be working towards the goal of at least 1% of the Council budget to be allocated in future through this same method of community choices/participatory budgeting.

Community groups themselves can contribute to and influence the national Review.

Community groups and voluntary organisations can apply for Scottish Government funding to host an event of at least 5 people with grants of up to £300 available. Communities can access this funding on the Scottish Government’s website at: https://beta.gov.scot/policies/improving-public-services/local-governance-review/

Deputy Leader of the Highland Council, Alasdair Christie said: "Localism is a key priority for this Administration and enabling local communities to have a say in decisions which affect them is at the heart of our Programme. The Commission for Local Democracy spoke to people from across the Highlands and delivered some valuable findings which we will endeavour to build into the way in which we work as a council. We will continue to look for ways to involve and better engage with people and to ensure that we are listening."

 

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