Local government, decentralisation, and planning in Scotland

The big accountability lie: in Scottish Parliament elections you have to pretend that you’ll succeed

The big accountability lie: in Scottish Parliament elections you have to pretend that you’ll succeed

Scotland goes to the polls on Thursday, with the SNP looking set to retain their majority and their status as the sole party of government. Here, Paul Cairney assesses what exactly you can and can’t lay at the door of the Scottish Government, and what is to the credit or fault of the UK government, or indeed Europe. 

The time is right for an audit of Scottish democracy

The time is right for an audit of Scottish democracy

Last year, we launched Democratic Audit – Scotland to provide meaningful, in depth, scrutiny of Scotland’s democratic record. The aim of the site is to provide a democratic audit, to examine the effectiveness of its political system, a democratic dashboard, to help members of the public make an informed choice when they participate in Scottish elections, and regular blog posts, to report on current developments in areas such as elections and representation, political parties, accountability, and human rights.

By 22nd January 2016 0 Comments Read More →
The new top-up powers for Scotland on welfare represent the advent of ‘defensive devolution’

The new top-up powers for Scotland on welfare represent the advent of ‘defensive devolution’

There is a lively debate in Scotland over the extent of the Scottish government’s new powers over welfare, with the Scotland Bill in Westminster being strengthened by Government amendments. Gavin Kelly discusses the political implications of the move, and describes the new arrangement as representing ‘defensive devolution’. 

By 9th November 2015 0 Comments Read More →
A below par performance? Donald Trump’s golf resort development and government openness and transparency in Scotland

A below par performance? Donald Trump’s golf resort development and government openness and transparency in Scotland

As Donald Trump’s US presidential candidacy campaign continues to cause controversy, Graeme Baxter reflects on the impact the building of ‘the greatest golf course anywhere in the world’ has had on the openness and transparency of Scottish public authorities.

By 23rd October 2015 0 Comments Read More →
A road map for pluralistic and ‘asymmetric’ devolution in the UK

A road map for pluralistic and ‘asymmetric’ devolution in the UK

Devolution to a model set out by the centre is not devolution at all, writes Jonathan Carr-West. We need local authorities and groups of local authorities in cities and counties to come forward with detailed and realistic proposals on how they plan to grow their local economies and improve local services and what powers they need to achieve this.