Inquiry into the Flexibility and Autonomy of Local Government



The remit of the Committee's inquiry is:

  • To examine the levels of flexibility and autonomy available to local government.

The aim of the inquiry is:

  • To learn lessons, and inform the ongoing debate on whether there is a need to strengther and enhance local democratic structures in Scotland.

The inquiry will:

  • Contrast the position of local government with the constitutional and legal framework in neighbouring EU jurisdictions;
  • Examine the level of public engagement and interaction with local government, including turnout at local elections;
  • Consider the legal and constitutional funding mechanisms available to local government;
  • Consider how remote, peripheral or island communities are accommodated within the local government structures; and
  • Consider the level of legal flexibility, and autonomy from central government, which local government enjoys.


Call for Written Evidence

On Thursday 6 February 2014 the Local Government and Regeneration Committee launched its Call for Evidence as part of its inquiry into the flexibility available to local government in Scotland.  This Call for Evidence closed 18.00pm Friday 28 March 2014.

The Committee invites all interested parties to submit written evidence on the inquiry.  It would be helpful if written submissions could address the following questions:

  1. Does any action require to be taken to improve the level of public engagement and interaction with local government, if so please suggest what action might be beneficial?
  2. Views on the current legal and funding positions of local government.
  3. Views on the way that remote, peripheral and island communities are accommodated within the local government structure.
  4. Views on the level of legal flexibility and autonomy from central government that local government enjoys.

Submissions should be limited to no more than eight pages of A4.  Responses should be sent, wherever possible, electronically and in MS Word format to the following email address: [email protected]

Note - Before submitting your evidence please read the Parliament’s policy on treatment of written evidence by subject and mandatory committees.

Written Evidence


The Committee has agreed the following outline timetable for this inquiry:

  • Call for evidence launched 6 February 2014.
  • Call for evidence ends 28 March 2014.
  • Oral evidence taking 23 April - 21 May 2014.
  • Committee report to be published by 30 June 2014.


Community Meeting

On Friday 2 May 2014 the Committee will convene a Community Meeting in Comhairle nan Eilean Siar Headquarters, Stornoway.

The purpose of this meeting is to hear views on how remote, peripheral and island communities are accommodated within local government structures.

The meeting is open to anyone who wishes to meet with MSPs on the Committee and help us. Greater detail on this meeting is in the following flyer:

Cumaidh Comataidh Riaghaltas Ionadail is Ath-bheothachadh coinneamh coimhearsnachd ann an seòmar Comhairle Nan Eilean Siar ann an Stèornabhagh air Dihaoine 2 Cèitean 2014.

’S amas na coinneimh ur beachdan fhaighinn air coimhearsnachdan iomallach no eileanach is structuran riaghaltas ionadail.

Tha a’ choinneimh fosgailte do dhuine sam bith a tha airson coinneachadh ri BPA is airson ar cuideachadh. Tha barrachd fiosrachaidh ri fhaighinn sa bhileig a leanas:


On 27 June 2014 the Committee published its report on the Flexibility and Autonomy in Local Government.

The Committee has written to the Scottish Government requesting a written response to the report by Thursday 21 August 2014.

On Friday 26 September 2014 the Minister for Local Government and Planning wrote to the Committee with the Scottish Governments response to the report.

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