** WE REGRET THAT THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED DUE TO ILLNESS. WE APOLOGISE FOR ANY INCONVENIENCE THIS MAY CAUSE.**

On May 5 local elections will be held across the UK. In Scotland, 1,228 councillors will be elected across 32 council areas. They will have responsibility for a huge range of local decisions; from bin collections to school budgets, and pest control to business support. A councillor’s basic pay is £18,604, meaning many of them have second jobs to supplement their income, but should that be the case?

The Scottish Government funding to local authorities for 2022/23 is £12.5bn, so should we pay our elected officials more to better reflect the major decisions they have to make? Is the system for local government fit for purpose in 2022? Is enough being done to attract a broad and diverse range of society into standing for local office?

We are looking to answer these questions and more with a panel of experts. We’re delighted to be joined by:

Councillor Rhiannon Spear, an SNP councillor in Glasgow who is standing down at this election

Jeremy Balfour MSP, Deputy Local Government Spokesperson for the Scottish Conservatives

Dr Meryl Kenny, a steering group member of Women 5050 and Gender and Politics lecturer at Edinburgh University

Willie Sullivan, a Senior Director for Scotland at the Electoral Reform Society.

This event will be chaired by our director, Kezia Dugdale on Tuesday 12 April at 11am. There will be plenty of time for audience Q&A.

The John Smith Centre exists to make the positive case for politics and public life.