The Commission on Highland Democracy has published its interim report. Key findings so far are:
- Decision making is exclusive. … People consider decision making to be centralised not because it takes place a long distance from them. …(but) when a small group of highly empowered individuals take decisions in a way that has little reference to anybody outside the group
- People want involvement and engagement. …
- Most respondents want to be empowered consumers of services and decisions rather than deliverers or decision makers themselves
- Integrated local democracy. People want engagement and involvement in the democratic process to happen as part of their day to day living rather than as a separate thing. …
- Balanced decision making. Communities hold the view that for good decisions to be made there is a necessary balance between three different inputs… high quality professional officer advice…, the role of the elected and appointed decision makers…, a strong element of community input.
The Commission will publish a final report in May 2017.