Scottish local democracy
The Act As If We Own The Place campaign arises from a simple idea: that human beings flourish when they have control over their own lives.
We think that the vast majority of Scots realise that freedom and power is best exercised as a community. As lone individuals we can potentially do some good things but as groups of individuals we have so much more power, can create and build better, and have more fun. Working and organising in the interests of our friends and neighbours means they work in our interests too. By doing this we find out how capable we all are, building trust in ourselves and in each other to run our own places.
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But we are not there yet. At the moment most of us have things done to us; power exercised over us by the government, by the council, or by companies who don’t work with our community interests at their core. This disempowers and patronises us.
If democracy is about anything it is about us running our own affairs. 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?
We are encouraging communities all over Scotland to hold ‘Act as if Councils.’ These are events where many local people gather together to talk about how they want to run that local place. If you like the idea of running your own community, then work out how you might do more than talk about it. Some are already planned see events section of the Our Democracy website. If you or a group of you are interested in holding an ‘Act as if Council’ in your community then contact us. We will help you make it happen.
We hope there will be many ‘Act as if Councils’ across Scotland, building confidence in people and asking the powerful to make way for them. Communities can redesign their local democracy to work better for them, flourishing all the more by taking control of their community’s future.
More information about Scottish local democracy
Statement on Local Democracy
76% of Scots feel they had no or very little influence on council spending or services.
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