Highlands & Islands

Commission to examine democracy in Highlands

Portree, Skye Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption Highland Council covers a large geographic area that includes the Isle of Skye and also Caithness and Sutherland

A commission examining how local democracy could be improved in the Highland Council area is expected to begin gathering evidence in June.

There has been a long running debate among councillors about breaking up the authority into smaller areas.

Highland has large geographic areas such as Caithness, Sutherland and Skye.

Highland Council will ask the commission look at the current state of democracy and "start conversations" about greater devolution of its powers.

'Exciting opportunity'

The Commission on Highland Democracy would follow up on work already done by the national Commission on Strengthening Local Democracy, which published a report in 2014.

Council leader Margaret Davidson said it would offer "an exciting opportunity" for people living in area.

She said: "Potential commissioners have been identified based on their skills, profile, and ability to challenge the current state of local democracy in the Highlands.

"The plan is to launch the commission in June, and to start taking evidence over the summer.

"An interim report will then be published in the autumn and final recommendations presented to the council in December."

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