Green MSP seeks views on Bill to strengthen local democracy

A Green MSP is launching a consultation on his draft proposal to strengthen local democracy by giving councils legal guarantees over their status, powers and finances.

If enacted, Andy Wightman’s draft Member's bill to incorporate the European Charter for Local Self-Government into Scots law would give citizens in Scotland the ability to challenge any action of the Scottish Government or Scottish Parliament which they consider violates the terms of the Charter.

Localism is at the heart of Green politics and renewing local democracy has been a campaign priority for Andy Wightman since being elected in 2016.

The consultation closes on 21 September 2018.

Andy Wightman MSP, the Scottish Greens’ local government spokesperson, said:

“I am delighted to be publishing a draft proposal for consultation on a members Bill to incorporate the European Charter of Local Self-Government into Scots law. This Council of Europe treaty has been ratified by the UK but has not been incorporated into Scots law. Local government deserves to be afforded the legal guarantees and protections afforded by the Charter in order to strengthen its standing in Scotland’s constitutional settlement.

“Scotland is engaged in a debate about the merits or otherwise of becoming an independent country whilst at the same time we appear to pay little attention to how we are governed by the tier of government that arguably matters most to people - local government. This must change.”