Wed 6 May, 2020

It is time that Scotland became, in this respect, a normal European country. Andy Wightman

Local government in Scotland could be brought up to European legal standards, if a member’s bill by Scottish Green MSP Andy Wightman is successful.

The Green’s local government spokesperson Andy Wightman has introduced a bill to the Scottish Parliament which would enshrine the principles of localism in law, as set out in international treaty the European Charter of Local Self-Government.

The proposal to embed the rights and responsibilities of councils in law was successful in gaining the signatures of 26 cross-party MSPs, and is published today. [Wednesday 6 May 2020]

Launching the bill, Andy Wightman said: “Local democracy and accountability is a vital part of any democracy and what makes a fair and free country. Over the last century, however, local government has been increasingly centralised and its autonomy marginalised.

“The Scottish Parliament has failed to live up to the ambitions set out in 1999 to strengthen and refresh municipal affairs, at a time when local solutions and decision making are needed more than ever.

“Everywhere across Europe there are far more effective systems of local government. That’s why my proposal would adopt the European legal standard as an important first step in deepening and strengthening our system of local governance. It is time that Scotland became, in this respect, a normal European country.”

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