Work with us to deliver real reform – COSLA

Monday May 2nd, 2011

Ahead of Thursday’s election, COSLA President Councillor Pat Watters has issued a final challenge to the main Scottish Political Party Leaders.

He said his challenge to the new Leader would be to work with local government as an equal partner.

He said: “With demand for public services increasing, but resources diminishing, whichever  party forms the government at Holyrood will face some of the biggest challenges Scotland has ever seen.  In the run up to Thursday’s election, Scotland’s communities have been bombarded with ideas about what would make Scotland a better place.  COSLA has been critical of many of these ideas, saying they have not been fully thought out, and will do little to deliver the improvement that people expect – especially given all that we know about the financial outlook we face over the next few years.

“In particular, we questioned proposals to take social care out of the control of local communities by giving it to the NHS in whatever form; and we argued that amalgamating the police and fire & rescue authorities into a single structure would reduce local democratic accountability and that the same efficiencies could be achieved without restructuring. These are the wrong proposals at the wrong time and  across Scotland there is a groundswell of people who are listening to what we are saying because they know it makes sense.

“As the rough and tumble of electoral politics gives way to the more serious business of government, my message to any incoming government is simple.  Delivering excellent public services requires all tiers of government to work together. Of course there are challenges ahead, but let’s start by taking a step back and remembering that it is local government services that are best placed to make a real long term difference to Scotland’s communities.  We are looking forward to building that relationship with national government, and we are ambitious for what we can achieve”.

Leave a Reply