Scottish Local Government Explained 2024

Do you want to find out how to best engage with local government? Do you feel like you need to consolidate your knowledge of how councils work, and the role that different individuals play? 30 years on from the 1994 Local Government (Scotland) Act, and almost one year on from the signing of the Verity House Agreement, Holyrood’s annual Scottish Local Government Explained will return in partnership with COSLA to help address these questions and more. Held as part of our Scottish Politics Explained series, this event will give you practical insights into how local government works, how you can productively engage with colleagues and what challenges are facing local government in 2024. By attending this event, you will gain:

  • An insight into how councils operate and the key players within them
  • An understanding of what local authorities are responsible for and how they engage with the Scottish Government
  • Practical strategies for influencing and engaging with local government

Scottish Local Government Explained is particularly relevant to those working in: 

  • Policy and/or public affairs
  • Public relations and/or communications
  • Campaigns

Session topics:

How local government is structured 

The local government electoral cycle 

What policy areas fall within local governments remit  

The role of COSLA

Session topics:

What is the role of a convenor? 

What is the role of a leader and a chief executive? 

What is the role of an officer? 

What is the role of a councillor? 

Session topics:

What are the dos and don’ts of engaging with local government? 

How can stakeholders in media, policy, communications and local government best work together? 

How do you effectively advocate for the interests of your organisation with local government? 

Session topics:

What will the key areas of focus/priority be for the rest of 2024? 

What are some of the challenges facing local government 30 years on from the Local Government Act? 

What local government would like external stakeholders to understand

Cllr. Maureen Chalmers
Spokesperson for Community Wellbeing
Sarah Fortune
Executive Director for Council Resources
East Lothian Council
Cllr. Beth Whiteside
Council Leader
Angus Council
Angela Scott
Chief Executive
Aberdeen City Council
Louisa Mahon
Head of Marketing, Communications and Major Events
Renfrewshire Council
George Barbour
Executive Office and Communications Manager
Stirling Council
Sarah Paterson
Communications & Public Affairs Manager
Prof. Scott Arthur
Convener, Transport and Environment Committee
Edinburgh City Council
Richard Kerley
Richard Kerley
Emeritus Professor of Management
Queen Margaret University, Centre for Scottish Public Policy 2021
Nicola Dickie
Nicola Dickie
Director - People Policy
Tom Arthur MSP
Minister for Community Wealth and Public Finance
Scottish Government
Rt Hon Henry McLeish
Former First Minister of Scotland, 2000-2001
Henry McLeish is a Scottish politician, author and academic who served as First Minister of Scotland from 2000 to 2001.
Discounted Rates Available

Automatic 50% group discount for bookings of 2 or more

20% early bird discount using code EARLYBIRD20

50% discount for students using code UNI50

Reduced Rate


With annual income of less than £1m

£195 + VAT

Standard Rate

Public sector/voluntary/charitable

With annual income over £1m

£245 + VAT

Private Sector Rate

Commercial e.g. plc, Ltd, LLP

£295 + VAT

For speaking enquiries, please contact:

For all other enquiries, please contact:


Event Details

In partnership with