Communities across Scotland are to be given more say on how their public services are run as part of a review of local governance.
The Scottish Government and council umbrella body Cosla have jointly launched the review.
It will consult the public and various organisations in the new year over the changes needed to ensure they are involved in local decision-making.
Communities Secretary Angela Constance said: “The Scottish Government and Cosla stand together with the community sector to launch a comprehensive review of how decisions are taken about those things that matter most to local people.
“A transformation of local democracy can be best achieved by looking at how public services work with each other and inviting communities to identify the powers and resources they need to thrive.
“National and local government know the only way to really put people and places first is if we listen carefully and with intent to what communities – large and small – want to see happen.
“We will take the conversation out into communities in the new year.”
Cosla president Alison Evison said: ” This is an exciting challenge and I look forward to what might be achieved.
“Get it right and the prize is better and more equal communities in every part of Scotland.”