On The Scotsman iPad app: Lesley Riddoch explains why Holyrood should give communities more self-governance

THE island of Barra, in the Outer Hebrides is currently in the midst of an ongoing dispute over the proposed construction of a Special Area of Conservation (SAC).

MSPs including Conservative Jamie McGrigor, Margo MacDonald and the Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie have agreed to take the debate to the Scottish Parliament.

Lesley Riddoch writes: If self-determination is good enough for Scotland it’s good enough for Barra. Wrong-sized layers of governance allow power to be hoovered upwards by the nearest quango or distant council, not devolved downwards to the nearest competent community unit. Scotland needs smaller, more meaningful units of organisation than our “local” councils which – with an average size of 162,500 people – are the largest in Europe.

Sign up to our Opinion newsletter

Sign up to our Opinion newsletter

The Scotsman iPad app is available free for the next 18 days. Why not try it out?


• Stephen McGinty introduces 60 facts about the Queen, as her Diamond jubilee approaches

• In pictures: This weekend’s Six Nations highlights

• Brian Monteith examines why questioning tradition may not be in Scotland’s best interests