A campaign by ERS Scotland as part of the Our Democracy coalition has been launched to seek a change to the way that decisions are made in Scottish communities. The Declaration on Local Democracy asks that communities are given the powers to make their own decisions and plan their own futures, arguing that the people who live and work in them are the ones best placed to do so.
‘The pandemic has given us a fresh insight into what we already knew about Scotland’s communities; people will sacrifice their time and resources to aid their neighbours. But that sense of community cannot be taken for granted. Now, more than ever, we need to revitalise and remake our local democracy. That is why we are asking you to ‘act as if you own the place’—if the citizens of a village, town, city or country don’t own it, then who does?’
The petition has almost reached its goal of 2000 signatures, you can sign it here and read more about Our Democracy at their website.
This free, virtual session is an opportunity for rural and island young people aged 16-25 to collectively reimagine the future of their communities. Facilitated by the Social Enterprise Academy, the fully interactive session will also provide an opportunity for young people to question decision makers such as Maree Todd, Minister for Children and Young People and Bruce Adamson, The Children and Young People’s Commissioner. The outputs of the session will contribute to other sessions of the Scottish Rural Parliament and help to influence rural policy.
To attend, register for the Scottish Rural Parliament and select the Youth Session when asked.
The Scottish Rural Parliament is a grassroots democratic assembly, bringing together people who live and work in rural and island Scotland with decision makers and influencers to explore current thinking and identify actions that will shape the future of rural communities.
Scottish Rural Parliament 2021 will be held over five days between March 6th and 18th. In sessions that will be open to everyone who would like to register, panels will look at a wide variety of issues that deeply affect rural Scottish lives – from local democracy and land use to digital communications and climate change. Through conversation and the sharing of stories these sessions will explore what needs to be done so that rural communities are thriving and their natural environment is safeguarded.
A member of the European-wide network of Rural Parliaments, the Scottish Rural Parliament takes place every two years. Responding to the pandemic reality, the 2021 Virtual SRP (2021vSRP) will take place online on a platform which is easy to access if you have a mobile phone, tablet or laptop and an internet connection. This year the Scottish Rural Action is partnering with the Scottish Islands Federation and Scottish Rural Network and the outcomes of the parliament will form the basis of an updated Manifesto for Rural and Island Scotland.
The programme can be seen in full here and we will be looking at the individual sessions in greater detail over the coming weeks.