Who We Are

Your local voice, nationally - COSLA logo

COSLA’s purpose is to be the national voice for local government in Scotland and our high priority work areas reflect our commitment to promote the position of local government as the legitimate tier of governance closest to the people of Scotland. 

COSLA's political decision making system is designed to ensure that its member councils are at the heart of the policy development process.  It places member councils at its heart, and allows COSLA to respond quickly to events and set a forward looking agenda for local government.

We strive to enable elected members of different political groups to have the opportunity to contribute to COSLA’s work and to develop policies for local government which represent, as far as possible, consensus between our political groups.  We also draw on the support and advice of professional associations and council officers to provide professional expertise throughout the policy development process.

COSLA Leadership Board - December 2016

The Convention is the guardian of the position of local government in Scotland and the strategic direction of COSLA.  It meets at least three times a year and consists of representatives from all member councils and political groups representing Scottish local government.

The main decision making body is the Leaders Meeting which is held eight times each year and which is attended by the political leaders from all member councils.

Responsibility for development of key policies rests with Spokespersons, each of whom has responsibility for a major policy area. The posts of Spokesperson are allocated on a cross-party basis, according to each political party's representation on the Convention.  Each Spokesperson is charged with developing strategy and policy for a major policy area.

The system is designed to ensure that a wide range of councillors from across the political spectrum and across Scotland are fully involved in the policy development process. In parallel, professional associations and officers provide professional expertise to assist in the policy development process.

COSLA's Constitution can be downloaded here (Updated March 2015).
COSLA's Leaders Workplan for 2016/17 can be downloaded here (January 2017).