Digital engagement for community councils – workshops around Scotland

Following on from the workshop we ran in January at Napier (blog post, outcomes report), I’m running four more this autumn.

All community councillors are welcome – the events are free and your ideas and experience are are the magic ingredients that will make the events work! For example, you might know how to gather great a Facebook audience, or have crowd-sourced opinions on planning matters. Others will love to hear how it’s done!

The events are free to attend, and lunch will be provided, but we can’t reimburse travel expenses. Continue reading

Couldn’t have put it better myself!

Wise words from Angus Hardie of the Scottish Community Alliance:

I see community empowerment and ‘local’ democracy as two sides of the same coin with something akin to our system of community councils (albeit properly resourced, probably restructured and with effective national representation) as the bridge between the two.  So while some might take issue on the detail, if the purpose of empowering communities is not about working towards genuine local democracy, could someone let me know what it is?

(emphasis added)

Here’s the full article, including a message from Marco Biagi MSP and pieces on ‘Caltongate’, the Big Lunch, community growing, euro-funding, Iceland’s financial crisis, COP21 and Comrie Development Trust

How to find online Glasgow CCs

Links to all Glasgow CC websites, Facebook pages and twitter feeds can now be found at The Glasgow CCLO tells me ‘A number of community councils have recently launched new websites using the WordPress platform, for example Mount Florida, at, Carmunnock, at, Parkhead, at, and Claythorn, at

The old CommunityCouncilsGlasgow website is now obsolete and should be ignored.

Digital Proxies – a potential new research area

(I can’t yet promise that no-one has thought of this before, but I hope it’s an original and worthwhile idea.)

What is a digital proxy?

A digital proxy would be someone who undertakes a citizen’s online affairs, principally around digital participatory or elective democracy, because the citizen cannot use the internet for some reason. Continue reading

Democratic Sector Day and other happy things

Yesterday was great. During the day, I was at the Democratic Sector Day, a day ‘for participation practitioners to share ideas, projects and ambitions, and hopefully develop a better understanding of this ‘community of practice’ in Scotland. The objectives were:

  1. Improve our understanding of the Democratic Sector in Scotland: Who is doing what and how?
  2. Discover opportunities for collaboration regarding research and practice.

Continue reading

Granton & District’s offline, face-to-face budget consultation

As most of you know, I’m all about Community Councils using the internet to engage with citizens. But I’m well aware that the internet isn’t, and can never be, the only channel for CC-citizen relationships.
So I’m immensely impressed by Granton & District CC’s initiative to consult with their citizens by offline, face-to-face methods, and then deliver meaningful results straight to its Local Authority.

Feedback and thoughts 2

It was pleasing to receive another response to our report, mostly because of its format. The responder’s email address clearly indicated his/her position (a CC member) and name, and the actual community council. Better still, the header and footer reaffirmed this information, and included the CC’s contact address, web address and a phone number. This CC is in a relatively large town – the header and footer stated which part of the town this CC represented. Continue reading