Magazine article Public Finance

Solace Chair Attacks Scots System

Magazine article Public Finance

Solace Chair Attacks Scots System

Article excerpt

A leading local authority chief executive has attacked Scotland's three-tier governance system as illogical and incoherent.

Keith Yates, Scottish chair of the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives and Senior Managers, said Scotland was too small to sustain three tiers - the Scottish Executive, regional bodies (such as water, transport and housing organisations) and local authorities.

He argued that local governance arrangements in Scotland were cumbersome and that too many ad hoc decisions had been taken since devolution. These had fundamentally changed the governance of public services.

'Setting up one new organisation after another with a different set of remits, often overlapping and not joining up hasn't necessarily been good,' he told a CIPFA seminar in Edinburgh on June 23.

Yates, who is also chief executive of Stirling Council, added: 'The growth of single-issue public service organisations, inspectorates and ringfenced budgets has constrained innovation and initiative.'

He maintained that the current system of local governance in Scotland had come about by default rather than by design, and that it sat uneasily with the Executive's ambition to have excellent public services. …

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