Magazine article Public Finance

Scottish Councils to Register Their Common Good Assets

Magazine article Public Finance

Scottish Councils to Register Their Common Good Assets

Article excerpt

Councils in Scotland are to be required to establish registers of assets held under the Common Good, an ancient system of safeguarding property and land that was administered by the former burghs on behalf of local people.

The move follows guidance from the influential Local Authority (Scodand) Accounts Advisory Committee, which has reviewed accounting methods for the Common Good.

Apart from formally requiring councils to establish registers for the first time, the guidance also proposes modernising the financial arrangements, which date back to the fifteenth century. It stresses the need for more 'transparent and consistent reporting' on the use of Common Good funds, which must be used for the benefit of the inhabitants of an area The funds are now held by unitary councils, which cover larger areas than the former burghs.

Latest figures put the value of Common Good reserves at almost £180m. …

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