Scots are being asked their views on whether a new Bill aimed at strengthening councils will “make a practical difference to people’s lives”.
James Dornan, convener of Holyrood’s Local Government and Communities Committee said MSPs also want to know if the proposed change in the law would “strengthen the bond” between councils and the people they represent.
Green MSP Andy Wightman has put forward a Member’s Bill at Holyrood that aims to incorporate the European Charter of Local Self-Government into Scots law.
The charter, which was created in 1985 by the Council of Europe and ratified by the UK in 1997, sets out 10 principles to protect the basic powers of local authorities, concerning the political, administrative and financial independence of local authorities.
The European Charter of Local Self-Government (Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill would allow people and organisations to challenge the Scottish Government in court if its laws or decisions are not compatible with the Charter.
Mr Dornan said: “Local authorities deliver a wide range of services that are a vital part of our daily lives – from social care and public libraries to planning and street cleaning.
“The aim of this Bill is to strengthen local democracy by increasing the autonomy of local authorities and enshrining support for local government into law.
“The committee is interested in hearing from people across Scotland as to whether they feel this Bill will support local government, strengthen the bond between councils and communities and make a practical difference to people’s lives.”
He added: “We also want to make sure it would have no unintended consequences.
“We are keen to hear whether the public supports these measures.
“We also want to gather thoughts on the financial impact of this legislation and whether this will have a positive impact on equality and human rights.”