Conveners' Blog - 12 September 2019

Kate and David

Welcome to our second blog post. We have had a busy couple of weeks since our last post and wanted to update you with some of the things that we have been doing and a few of our thoughts on the Assembly as these are being developed.

Since our last blog, we held a press conference that was covered in various papers across Scotland and internationally. At the event we spoke with Canada’s CBC, about the Assembly and the context of Scotland and the UK considering their future in the world.

We welcome the Holyrood debate on the Assembly, held yesterday, and are pleased to see Mike Russell’s motion welcoming us and reiterating our independence from Government passed. The Memorandum of Understanding that we have agreed demonstrates this too. We heard mention in the debate about the Secretariat that supports us and we direct, and today we have published the role of the Secretariat affirming what they will do and how they will work.

Our focus over the past few weeks has been putting the right foundations for the Assembly in place, working through the details in design of the Assembly to ensure it runs effectively, and makes the most of the Assembly member’s input and time. The debate highlighted some of the issues that we are working through right now, making sure the design enables all members to deliberate in a way that allows for cumulative learning and respectful exchange of views. We are looking at the support that will be required for members, fully aware that this is a significant commitment we ask of them. The debate picked up on the positive experience of participants in Ireland and we are putting in place arrangements to ensure that we emulate and build on this in Scotland.

As we move towards the first sitting of the Assembly at the end of October we will continue to raise awareness of this exciting and innovative way of giving citizens a direct voice in the future of their country.

Kind regards

Kate and David

Conveners of the Citizens’ Assembly of Scotland