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Co-operation or Conflict?. Scottish Parliament: Powers Devolved powers Health Education Local Government Law Social Work and Housing Economic Development.

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Presentation on theme: "Co-operation or Conflict?. Scottish Parliament: Powers Devolved powers Health Education Local Government Law Social Work and Housing Economic Development."— Presentation transcript:

1 Co-operation or Conflict?

2 Scottish Parliament: Powers Devolved powers Health Education Local Government Law Social Work and Housing Economic Development and Transport The Environment Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing Sport and the Arts The powers in red are those local government treasures the most.

3 Where the money went Income£bnbn Scottish Government8.27 Fees and charges4.81 Council Tax2.25 Non Domestic Rates1.96 Reserves0.1 Total17.39 Expenditure Education5.46 Social Work3.52 Housing3.37 Roads, Environ, Culture, Planning3.45 Police & Fire1.01 Other services0.51 Depreciation and Pensions1.04 Total17.34 Surplus0.05 Source: Audit Scotland

4 Roles of Local Government Providing Services Strategic Planning Regulation Community leadership Local democracy

5 Providing Services EducationSocial WorkHousing Local authorities provide the services most of us at some point in our life depend upon.

6 Strategic Planning Local authorities must produce long term plans of how they will provide services within their area. Sometimes several neighbouring councils will work together, for example, in Edinburgh and the east of Scotland.

7 Regulation Local authorities have the job of deciding on licenses, for example, for taxi drivers and pubs and clubs

8 Community leadership The Local Government Act of 2003 provided local authorities with the responsibility to promote “well-being”. Such initiatives, such as anti litter campaigns and Eco schools, cut across local government departments and seek to improve the quality of life for everyone.

9 Local Democracy City of Edinburgh Council. Ward 10: Meadows and Morningside Paul Godzik Scottish Labour Alison Johnstone Green Marilyne MacLaren Lib Dem Mark McInnes Conservative City of Edinburgh has 58 Councillors, elected in 17 wards Each ward will have 3 or 4 councillors to represent the public The Council is led by a Lib Dem/SNP coalition Councillors provide local leadership and representation It is the job of councillors, elected local representatives, to decide how the Council’s budget should be spent. The STV creates larger constituencies, which are often multi-party in composition. For example….

10 The “old” Scottish Executive The 1999 – 2007 Scottish Executives were Labour/Lib Dem coalitions Reform of local government was a priority STV was introduced and a new employment system for councillors was introduced

11 “Old” Scottish local government Prior to the 2007 local government elections, Labour was the power in Scottish local government, controlling 13 out of 32 local authorities.

12 2007 New Scottish “Government” The SNP led Scottish Government is not a coalition but a minority Government It presides over a very different political landscape, with the SNP the largest political party and many coalition-led local authorities

13 New Scottish local government Aberdeen City Council Aberdeenshire Council Angus Council Argyll & Bute Council Clackmannanshire Council Dumfries & Galloway Council Dundee City Council East Ayrshire Council East Dunbartonshire Council East Lothian Council East Renfrewshire Council Edinburgh City Council Comhairle nan Eilean Siar Falkirk Council Fife Council Glasgow City Council Highland Council Inverclyde Council Midlothian Council Moray Council North Ayrshire Council North Lanarkshire Council Orkney Islands Council Perth and Kinross Council Renfrewshire Council Scottish Borders Council Shetland Islands Council South Ayrshire Council South Lanarkshire Council Stirling Council West Dunbartonshire Council West Lothian Council Only Glasgow, Midlothian and North Lanarkshire have Labour controlled LAs. In councils such as Edinburgh and West Lothian, coalitions have been formed to exclude Labour. It seems that after years of Labour rule, other parties are no ganging up on Labour. On the other hand, in East Dunbartonshire and South Lanarkshire, Labour and the Tories have formed a coalition to keep out the SNP! What STV is providing is an entirely new style of politics.

14 The New Broom: Aberdeen City Council 14 Kirsty West Callum McCaig John West In 2007, thanks to retirement packages, many older councillors retired and a “new broom” of very youthful Councillors were elected. John West, in Aberdeen Council had just left school! Callum McCaig, and John West’s big sister, Kirsty, weren’t much older.

15 Co-operation: The smoking ban The relationship between local authorities and the Scottish Government is a two-way one. The Scottish Government can pass a law.e.g. On smoking in enclosed public spaces, but it requires local authorities to enforce it.

16 What to do about the Council Tax? The SNP Government has abandoned its plans to abolish the Council Tax Labour’s Iain Gray famously tore up the SNP manifesto

17 The Concordat The Concordat agreed between the SNP Scottish Government and COSLA in 2007 is based upon: Reducing “ring fencing” of projects by the Scottish Government Freezing Council Tax increases Establishing Single Outcome Agreements (SOAs)

18 Tensions within the Concordat The maximum class size of 18 in P1-P3 is now an “aim”, rather than a “pledge”. The Council Tax will not be abolished this Parliament. Can the freeze on increases last? Do local authorities have the money to pay for free school meals in P1-P3? Even before the Westminster Emergency Budget of June 2010, there were signs that the Concordat was under pressure.

19 Cuts are taking place in all Scotland’s local authorities The Scottish Government will probably need to reduce its spending by around 17% over the next four years. Such savings cannot be achieved simply by cutting waste or finding "efficiencies". The Scottish Government is almost certain to follow the UK's lead in imposing a two-year public sector pay freeze for employees on more than £21,000. The Scottish Government may well look again at some of the key policies brought in since devolution, such as free personal care for the elderly and the introduction of free bus travel for the elderly. So, what happens to Best Value?

20 COSLA is angry at Health being disproportionately protected. It is angry at the degree to which local authorities will have to cut jobs and services. The survival of the Concordat is in jeopardy. Examples: Cuts in school transport, museums and sports centres, police overtime. Redundancies are being made and posts unfilled. There are increases in charges for breakfast clubs, special refuse uplifts and blue badges for disabled drivers UNISON protest against the cuts, Glasgow 2010


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