SIC political leader Gary Robinson was to meet the head of the Smith Commission, Lord Smith, in Edinburgh today to discuss how further devolved powers can be used to strengthen communities.
Mr Robinson was among elected representatives from across Scotland to meet the man charged with overseeing the promised devolution of extra powers to Scotland in the wake of the referendum process. Lord Smith was to attend a meeting of Cosla, the local government organisation.
Cosla president David O’Neill said he was delighted that Lord Smith had rightly recognised that Scottish local government was “a player in this debate and has agreed to come to Cosla’s Convention to hear at first hand the vital role that a strong local democracy can play in his Commission’s work”.
Mr O’Neill said: “It was local people that electrified the debate about Scotland’s constitutional future and proved once and for all that they care passionately about the issues that affect them, their families, and their communities. There is now an historic opportunity to make sure that becomes the new standard for democracy in Scotland.
“Across the political spectrum, there is now a growing consensus that it is time to think about not just the powers that come to Scotland, but how power is used to benefit Scotland’s communities.
“Whatever new powers are agreed for Scotland, all of the evidence tells us that taking change forward from the top down is likely to weaken democracy, and under-deliver for communities.
“That is why there has never been a better time for the Smith Commission to deliver a settlement in which new powers are not simply tacked onto today’s centralised framework, but instead empower local people in Scotland to address the challenges and opportunities they face.”