Citizens’ panel to help shape how the Parliament engages with the people of Scotland

People from across Scotland will be invited to join a Citizens’ Panel which will look to improve how the Parliament works with people across Scotland.

The 24-person panel, to be selected at random, will broadly reflect the demographic make-up of Scotland.

The Citizens’ Panel on Participation will give members of the public a direct opportunity to influence change.

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They will report to the Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee who recently launched an inquiry into public participation.

The panel is just one of the many ways the Committee is gathering views that will help inform how the Parliament involves, reflects and meets the needs of all the communities it represents, with a focus on improving engagement for those currently under-represented.

Participants do not need any prior knowledge to take part and the panel will receive support throughout the sessions, which will hear from speakers who are passionate about democracy and public participation, to help facilitate discussion and inform findings.

Commenting on the panel, Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Convener, Jackson Carlaw MSP, said: “This is a unique opportunity to help shape the way the Scottish Parliament works with the people of Scotland.

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"I would encourage everyone who receives an invitation over the coming weeks to register and get involved.

“We know that the Parliament doesn’t hear enough from some groups and communities.

"This Citizens’ Panel will bring together a diverse range of voices to make recommendations over how Holyrood can better connect and reflect the views of the people MSPs are here to represent.

“If selected, your views could help to directly shape the future of the way the Scottish Parliament engages with communities across Scotland and improve public participation in decision making across the board.”

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The Citizens Panel will meet for two full weekends at the Scottish Parliament – Friday evening to Sunday – from September 23 to 25 and October 28-30. It will also meet online at three shorter evening sessions on Thursday, October 6, Thursday, October 13 and Thursday, October 27.

Once registration has closed, 24 people will be randomly selected to take part.