SCOTLAND’s first Citizens’ Assembly has been described as a “blueprint for democratic participation” after it published its vision of the country’s future.

That vision was outlined yesterday by convener Kate Wimpress, revealing its 60 recommendations, which told “the story of the journey that we’ve travelled together” to deliver it.

Their proposals – which will be discussed by the Scottish Government – are far-reaching, covering subjects as diverse as increasing the national minimum wage for those aged between 18 and 24 to a national living wage; the abolition of zero-hours contracts; lowering the state pension age and calling for Scotland to be the first country in the world to ban the unnecessary use of non-biodegradable products.

Assembly members also want to explore a standard four-day working week, setting up an anti-poverty task force in every council area and have permanent mental health liaison officers in every school.

They called for the Scottish Government and Parliament to work “with councils and other stakeholders, including tenant associations (such as Living Rent) to implement rent caps across the country”, as well as strictly enforcing rules for landlords to maintain “good quality repair of housing”.

On taxation and employment, the Assembly wants the Government to publish a register of organisations detailing their compliance under a traffic-light system. It also wants higher wages for all NHS staff.

While several members at the report’s online launch expressed no desire to become politicians, their report did call for further powers for the Scottish Parliament.

Wimpress said they had made a “mini-Scotland” and worked hard to find common ground.

“I’m delighted that the Assembly’s report offers such a positive vision for our future and a set of bold and imaginative recommendations,” she said.

“This is not a box ticked, or a full stop, but a beginning, opening up a new chapter in our democracy with citizens at its heart. It puts Scotland at the forefront of democratic innovation globally.”

The Assembly brought together 100 randomly selected Scots to discuss and make recommendations on the most pressing issues facing Scotland.

Member Leanne Thompson, a barmaid from Aberdeen, said she wanted to find out if her opinions “genuinely mattered”. She said: “I particularly enjoyed the political panel q and a, when I felt that the real people of Scotland got answers to burning questions from those who could potentially implement them.”

Another member, Shona Peace, said: “I had no say in what politics were about before. Now, I have had a say on how we bring Scotland forward for the next generation.”

The Electoral Reform Society (ERS) Scotland worked with the group through the project, and hailed its report as “a blueprint for democratic participation”.

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Willie Sullivan, their senior director, said: “The process puts Scotland at the forefront of democratic innovation and sets out a blueprint for elsewhere – a model for true citizen participation demonstrating what can be achieved when ordinary people are given the time and space to debate, discuss and deliberate the issues that affect their day to day lives.

“It delivers not only great solutions but trust and understanding between citizens and a knowledge of the trade-off required in government.”

Rufus Bouverie, from Living Rent, added: “Given that this report – commissioned by the Scottish Government itself – backs our campaign for strong, national rent controls, we hope we can urgently see words turned into action and tenants given the protections we so urgently need.”

The report can be read here.