Your local voice, nationally - COSLA logo

COSLA is the voice of Local Government in Scotland. We provide political leadership on national issues, and work with councils to improve local services and strengthen local democracy.

Every day of the year, millions of 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.

From funding to housing, roads to early years, and social care to dealing with BREXIT, our job is to champion councils' vital work and secure the resources and powers they need.

We are a councillor-led, cross-party organisation which works 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.  

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

  • 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


COSLA is not just about politics. 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.