COSLA is the voice of Local Government in Scotland.

COSLA was established in 1975, but standing up for Scotland's local priorities goes back 800 years when we evolved from the Convention of Royal Burghs- once the oldest representative body in Europe.

Today, we are a councillor-led, cross-party organisation who champions the vital work of Scotland's Councils and its 1226 elected councillors in order to secure the resources and powers they need. We work on councils' behalf to focus on the challenges and opportunities they face, and to engage positively with governments and others on policy, funding and legislation.

Every day people rely on the services that local government in Scotland delivers. Together, they spend over £19 billion a year, and employ over 240,000 people - almost 10% of all jobs in Scotland.

Read the COSLA 5-year plan for the term 2022-2027 here.

Read about our impact from the previous term 2017-2022 in our 'This Is Our Story' Report here.

As a champion for councils we:

  • ENGAGE in key financial, legislative and policy developments to ensure they have the best possible impact
  • DEVELOP partnerships with Scottish, UK and international governments, parliaments, and the third and private sectors
  • CAMPAIGN on the issues that matter to our members, and promote the image and reputation of local government
  • CHAMPION the role of local government in the governance of Scotland, and lobby for stronger local democracy and community empowerment
  • LEAD reforms that improve public services and save money effectively
  • NEGOTIATE fair and affordable pay and workforce conditions on behalf of all councils
  • SUPPORT councils to work together, and deliver shared services that increase their capacity

We're also responsible for providing national services to councils and their partners through the myjobscotland recruitment portal, Trading Standards Scotland, and Business Gateway National Unit