This article by Christopher Silver is published by Prospect Magazine. Here is an excerpt:
In one Scottish city, a portfolio of iconic public buildings is re-financed to settle a decades-old equal pay dispute; in another, a radical programme to prioritise cycling and walking over cars forges ahead against bitter opposition. In the west-coast commuter belt, a new policy of community wealth building tries to take root. In the remote Highlands, a Short Term Let Control Area is piloted in response to a chronic shortage of affordable housing that is driving out young people.
While coverage of local elections looks for swings and trends that can reveal the popularity of competing parties (mistaking them for something akin to the US midterms) the vital issues that councils grapple with daily receive scant attention from pundits.
Part of the reason for this disparity is surely that, despite its oft-repeated social democratic aspirations, Scotland operates one of the most centralised states in Europe. As a result, local elections serve as a mere proxy for more important contests.
Read the full article here.