Bruce Ryan has been invited to participate in a digital democracy panel on 26 March. The discussion will be hosted by the Commission on Strengthening Local Democracy. This stems from a submission by Bruce and Peter Cruickshank, based on on their research into e-participation around Scottish Community Councils (CCs). The Commission's aims to brings together local government, civic society, and a range of experts to consider what it will take put local democracy at the heart of Scotland’s future.
In their submission, Bruce and Peter argued that CCs generally do not yet have the necessary IT-mediated channels to enable local citizens to take part in discussions online. This becomes particularly important due to the Community Empowerment Bill which offers CCs the opportunity to take on some local service-provision duties.
They called for CCs to be ready and willing to use the internet in line with the Scottish Government's 'digital first' policies.
important that CC are able to share practices that work for them and their
communities. Bruce is already directly contributing to such efforts,
being webmaster for one Edinburgh CC and helping two others set up their own
This opportunity to contribute to a national debate on the shape of Scotland's local democracy comes hot on the heels of awards of funding to extend Peter and Bruce's research into how CCs use the internet, and to provide an online CC finder website for the Improvement Service.