e-Community Councils

  In February 2004 Edinburgh Napier University’s International Teledemocracy Centre received funding from the Scottish Executive to investigate how technology could be developed to help regenerate democracy at the local community level. Community councils are at the heart of local government in Scotland. They are small, local groups and are, by law, made up of members of their own community, giving them direct access to their constituents at a more detailed daily level than most politicians or local authority councillors could ever hope to achieve.

Between 2004 and 2006, ITC worked with Strathfillan, Thornhill and Blairdrummond Community Councils in rural Stirlingshire, to pilot use of online tools to support their work in the e-Community Council’s project. The project piloted, in two phases, a family of blog-based websites, which enabled people to comment on local news and planning applications, as well as including more sophisticated tools to enable councillors to create online surveys.

The historical context is important: in 2004, few Community Councils presented their business online and the use of blogs in eDemocracy was innovative. Take up varied across the councils, but included lively debates from across the communities, especially on the subject of transferring control of council housing.

More about the e-Community Councils project.

  • Start Date:

    1 February 2004

  • End Date:

    31 January 2006

  • Activity Type:

    Research

  • Funder:

    Scottish Government

  • Value:

    £92000