Democracy Matters Phase 2


The original Democracy Matters conversation, in what feels like a different world pre-Covid, established that there was an appetite for more democratic control at local levels. Many of our members will remember being involved in these conversations. They showed that people want to have a say over what happens in their communities. However Covid happened, and the process was paused.

The Scottish Government committed to taking this forward again. The next phase, launched on the 28 August 2023, and closed on 28 February 2024, discussed what powers, processes, structures and accountability might look like for this to work.

DTAS received funding from the Scottish Government to work in partnership with the Scottish Community Development Centre (SCDC) to deliver a series of events to engage our members and networks in this process.

What we did

National Events –  to inform our joint members and networks on how they can engage in DM2 and prepare to host a self-facilitated conversation, DTAS and SCDC ran two events which took place in September and November 2023, with a final event in February 2024 bringing together representatives from those that took place in the place based conversations.

Place based conversations – DTAS selected 4 locations across our network to facilitate a more in-depth conversation. We focused on community anchor organisations who could bring together a diverse range of community partners to explore the powers, structures, accountability mechanisms and resources needed to take more decisions locally. Output from these sessions will become part of the DM2 consultation response. DTAS led discussions with communities in Mull, and Duns, Scottish Borders, Udny in Aberdeenshire, and Easterhouse in Glasgow. Conversations were rich and provided much food for thought for us at DTAS, for the communities themselves, and plenty of notes to feed in to the SG consultation.

Self-facilitated conversations – the consultation was open to all. To support people to host conversations in their communities, the Scottish Government provided materials for self-facilitation and a grant is available for communities to help with any costs of hosting such an event. 

Consultation Response - DTAS has now submitted our response to this consultation and we look forward to continuing to work with the Scottish Government and partners to shape a new local democratic landscape in Scotland.

Networking & Events

Connect and collaborate through an annual conference, regional events, Community Learning Exchange, and regular peer-to-peer check-in sessions to build relationships and share knowledge.

Training & Resources

Build organisational capacity through strategic review sessions, trustees and company director training, Continuing Professional Development sessions, and access to a wide range of DTAS publications and toolkits covering best practices

Representation & Influencing

Leverage DTAS's role as the voice for development trusts to influence policy, and participate in government consultations, and pilot programs. Amplify your voice at the highest levels.

Advice & Support

Get tailored guidance from dedicated development officers and access expert professional advice on legal matters, to inform and advance your work.

Our Partner DTA Scotland Services

The Community Ownership Support Service (COSS) is funded by the Scottish Government to support community based groups in Scotland take a stake in or ownership of previously publicly owned land or buildings.

Community Shares Scotland is a national organisation that exists to raise awareness of the community shares model and support communities who wish to raise money this way.

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