“A start to redressing this imbalance would be for the UK Government and the devolved governments to sign the European Charter of Local Self Government – then we could at last begin to have serious conversations, based on a joint understanding of and respect for each other’s roles, on how we are to successfully tackle the substantial and increasingly complex issues of the future.”
Scottish local government
After over 20 years existence, instead of extending the principle of devolution within Scotland, the Scottish Government has not only retained all the transfers from Westminster but also taken away functions from Local Government: writes George Thorley
“For now, there’s a mismatch between the Scottish Government’s vision of a more successful Scotland – where poverty is reduced, and economic growth is sustainable – and how we assess public sector performance. I am not convinced that public sector leaders really feel accountable for delivering change that demands different organisations work together.”
“The failure to reduce demand in acute services through prevention is evident in the increasing proportion of Scottish budget spend on the National Health Service. This has had many consequences. Money required for acute services means less for other services.” A member of the Christie Commission on delivering public services in Scotland looks back/forward in sorrow
Councillor Gordon Munro. was suspended from the Labour group on Edinburgh City Council after refusing to back the SNP-Labour coalition budget in May. He makes his case in the week Scotland’s Accounts Commission released a strongly worded report about the fiscal challenges facing all councils.
‘Every major party in Scotland has contributed to the process of centralisation and this has undermined local responses to the crisis. Scotland’s constitutional status is an important issue but not at the cost of considering the need for reform of local governance….’
‘Without real and substantive change in council funding, both fiscal and legislative, then the only budget option for councils will be more cuts, fewer services, fewer workers.’
‘..with so much promise offered by new economic democratic agendas such as new municipalism, communities can have a key role as partners with the state against the cosh of market liberalism and declining public services.’
Children around the globe are right to go on strike, and we must listen to them. Gordon Munro explains why
In the latest of our series on local government and devolution, the head of the Cosla office in Brussels analyses whether a European model makes sense.