Citizens' Assembly of Scotland

January 2021

The Citizens' Assembly has reported  -  did anyone notice?


The Citizens' Assembly of Scotland, set up by Nicola Sturgeon in 2019 to put forward ideas about what kind of country the people of Scotland want Scotland to become, published its report and recommendations last week (13 January), without receiving much publicity.  There were reports on The Herald, The Scotsman, The National and the BBC websites, but, regrettably, it is safe to assume that the vast majority of the population never knew the Assembly existed.  You can read about its composition, remit and interrupted programme of discussions below.

Perhaps not surprisingly, as the assembly was described by the Scottish Conservatives as a 'nationalist stunt' and 'a talking shop for independence', and by an SNP MP as 'the perfect way to move Scotland . .  towards independence', the word 'independence' does not appear in its summary report.  What is perhaps surprising is that there is no mention of climate change either.

You can read and download the Assembly's  'vision and recommendations' summary, and find the full report  online.

Also reporting and comment from

The Herald           The Scotsman           The National            BBC

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Citizens' Assembly close to concluding


The Citizens’ Assembly of Scotland held its seventh and penultimate weekend meeting on 31 October - 1 November.  During the weekend, with strong support from the secretariat with regard to evidence received and methods of working, a list of sixty draft recommendations were prepared, to be voted on at the final meeting on 5 December.  These are available as an annex to the weekend report.

Background and materials for weekend 7
Weekend 7 report and draft recommendations
Latest blog from Convener Kate Wimpress, after weekend 7 meeting 31 October - 1 November.


The Citizens’ Assembly of Scotland is a group of 100 citizens from across Scotland that are broadly representative of the country and are coming together to address the following three questions:

  • What kind of country are we seeking to build?
  • How best can we overcome the challenges Scotland and the world face in the 21st century, including those arising from Brexit?
  • What further work should be carried out to give us the information we need to make informed choices about the future of the country?

The Assembly will meet six times between October 2019 and April 2020 to deliberate on these questions and make recommendations. The recommendations will be set out in a report that will be laid in the Scottish Parliament.

Read an overview of the objectives, principles, membership and methods of operation of the Assembly.

Details of Assembly meetings     2020-21

The planned programme of meetings was interrupted by the Covid-19 situation, and resumed with online meetings on 5 September and 3-4 October.  Future meetings are scheduled for 31 October-1 November and 5 December, with final reporting of the Assembly's conclusions later in December.

There is lots of information on the Assembly website (although it is not very easy to navigate around), including a video by the convener Kate Wimpress and summaries of what has been achieved so far and what remains to be done.

Perhaps the most accessible overview of the direction the Assembly is taking is given by Annex 2 to the weekend 5 report, which summarises the areas of concensus arrived at, which will feed into the preparation of the final 'vision statement'.  (Scroll down the report to annex 2 at the end).

What many people will regard as more useful than a vision statement is a set of specific recommendations embodying responses to the Assembly's remit -

  • What kind of country are we seeking to build?
  • How best can we overcome the challenges Scotland and the world face in the 21st century, including those arising from Brexit? 
  • What further work should be carried out to give us the information we need to make informed choices about the future of the country?

A paper from the Assembly's Secretariat restates the remit and outlines the procedures for producing both vision and recommendations.  Separate papers are devoted to the vision and the conclusions and recommendations.

Website     www.citizensassembly.scot

Latest blog from Convener Kate Wimpress, after weekend 7 meeting 31 October - 1 November.

 

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