Bringing 'neighbourhood' centre stage in Scotland

Michael Carley

A report on a 24-hour event for Scottish local authorities and their partners, held in June 2006, which explored the emerging role for neighbourhoods in local governance.

Key points arising from the discussion included:

  • It is important for communities and local authorities to form a good working relationship.
  • There was widespread agreement that both representative and participatory democracy were important.
  • It is important to recognise the different challenges in rural and urban neighbourhoods.
  • The benefits of community planning and better local governance should not just be felt by well-organised communities.
  • Many different people should be involved, so that participation at neighbourhood level is genuinely broad-based.
  • Strong leadership is needed to back up decisions taken.