Democracy, devolution and governance

Making sure that citizens have a voice through strong and vibrant local institutions.



Swift Read: Scottish councils’ financial sustainability at risk?

This swift read outlines the findings of a recently published Accounts Commission Overview report on the impact of Covid-19 on Scottish councils and their communities. The report uses case studies to highlight the challenges and threats to the financial sustainability of Scottish councils at a time when future funding levels remain uncertain. It is planned…

Scotland Briefing

Place is the crucial lens

In his latest column for The Municipal Journal, Jonathan Carr-West considers the assertion that devolution is ‘dead in the water’, and emphasises the need for a Levelling Up agenda that accounts for people and places.

England & Wales Blog Post Blog

The ever-evolving relationship between the Commonwealth and Local Government

In this briefing, Dr Ed Wensing explores the tensions between constitutional recognition of local government on the one hand and federal financial relations on the other, why this tension can be difficult to balance, the risk of more constitutional challenges, and the need for ongoing dialogue.

Australia Briefing

Participatory democracy and the role of elected members

Over the last decade, the mechanisms for how citizens can participate more fully in decision making have been strengthened, but what does ‘participatory democracy’ represent for elected members? A panel – including a former president of COSLA, an MSP, and a senior lecturer at the University of Edinburgh – discuss the issue.

Scotland Blog Post Blog
Members & Followers

Introducing you to LGIU’s new Local Democracy Research Centre

On Wednesday, 16 June, LGIU launched its new Local Democracy Research Centre (LDRC), which brings together experts from local government and academia across the globe to do practical research on some of the key challenges for local democracy around the world. This briefing introduces you to the work of the Research Centre and signposts how…

Australia, England & Wales, Global, Ireland, Scotland, South Africa Briefing

Oireachtas report: May 2021

This briefing provides a summary of Oireachtas activity in May, covering housing, ticketing and education.

Ireland Briefing

A New Settlement: place and wellbeing in local government

In this paper we argue that building back better after the pandemic must include a new settlement for place that reconnects the government’s “levelling up” ambitions with the decentralisation of power in England.

England & Wales Publication
Members & Followers

An introduction to overview and scrutiny

This guide has been produced for elected members who are involved in the council’s overview and scrutiny process and want to develop their questioning skills. 

England & Wales Publication