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.”

Get involved

More like this

Andy Wightman wins new evictions crackdown

Thu 3 Dec, 2020

Private tenants in Scotland will get new protections from eviction over Christmas and New Year, after First Minister Nicola Sturgeon agreed to ensure that no sheriff officer can evict someone from their home this winter.

The new regulations come after consistent pressure from Scottish Green MSP Andy Wightman, who pushed for greater protections for tenants in the COVID emergency laws in May, and whose campaign for a winter eviction ban gathered over 1,000 signatures.

At last week’s FMQ, Mr Wightman raised the plight of a constituent in West Lothian who is facing eviction.

Local democracy boost as Scottish govt backs Wightman bill

Wed 2 Dec, 2020

Local democracy in Scotland is set to be strengthened after the Scottish Government indicated it would back a Scottish Greens bid to give local councils European-style protections from centralisation.

At the Scottish Parliament’s Local Government committee, Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell signalled support for Andy Wightman’s European Charter of Local Self-Government (Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill, which would give councils democratic guarantees that are normal across Europe.

Soaring rents shows need for rent controls

Tue 24 Nov, 2020

Rising private rents across Scotland reveal the failure of the SNP’s flagship rent pressure zones policy and the need for proper rent controls, Scottish Greens housing spokesperson Andy Wightman has said.