TONIGHT marked the launch of Talking Scotland – a monthly podcast looking at issues outside the central belt bubble.

The podcast will see groups and individuals from across Scotland host shows on a rotating basis to bring diverse voices and topics.

The first episode was broadcast at 7.30pm tonight via our social media channels, and here on our website.

Episode one

The first episode was hosted by Aberdeen Independence Movement's Karen Adam MSP, discussing how to reform and make local government work for both rural and urban Scotland.

Adam was joined by MSP Kate Forbes and councillor Louise McAllister.

The panel engaged with viewers on topics like improving rural public transport while keeping costs down, how councils can improve their public perception and whether now is the time to seriously debate local government reform.

Alan Petrie, co-convener of the Aberdeen Independence Movement, said: "It’s 30 years since Scotland has seen any real reform of local government. We have councils that cover areas with the landmass of many medium-sized countries. We devolve down policy implementation, but rarely the power to shape and design policy.

"Our current local government set-up does not work, and it is time for a constructive debate on reforming it to empower our diverse communities.

"As a movement, we must demonstrate that in our new Scotland – which we have such high ambitions for – Scotland's fantastically diverse communities will be heard, celebrated and nurtured to flourish; let's start by hearing the voices of all Scotland's arts and parts."

Stay tuned for details on listening back via podcast services.