Magazine article Public Finance

Scots Councils 'Will Not Face Reorganisation'

Magazine article Public Finance

Scots Councils 'Will Not Face Reorganisation'

Article excerpt

The Scottish government wants to increase the pace of change in the public sector but there will be no reorganisation of local authorities, Finance Minister John Swinney said this week.

He told the Institute of Revenues Rating and Valuation Scottish conference at Crieff on September 5 that, in addition to streamlining the structure of the new government, ministers wanted to see an 'intensification of the pace of change and development in the public sector'.

But he made it clear that he was anxious to clear obstacles to reforms such as shared services by offering reassurance to councils.

He said: 'One of the issues that has become very apparent to me in observing the role of local authorities in the past few years is that there has been a real cloud hanging over local authorities that has led to a reluctance to share services.

'This was mainly because I think councils felt that, by sharing services, they would probably be frog-marched into a local government reorganisation and a reduction in the number of councils'.

Swinney said he had met 18 local authorities over the summer and assured them this would not happen under the Scottish National Party government, because an endless amount of time could be wasted on restructuring. …

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