Rebel au­thor­i­ties to join forces in new part­ner­ship

Rutherglen Reformer - - News -

South La­nark­shire Coun­cil will set up a new part­ner­ship with other rebel au­thor­i­ties who will quit the Con­ven­tion of Scot­tish Lo­cal Au­thor­i­ties (COSLA) at the end of March.

Coun­cil leader, Ed­die McAvoy, and other se­nior of­fi­cer, have been in talks with their coun­ter­parts at Aberdeen, Glas­gow, and Ren­frew­shire to dis­cuss the cre­ation of the new Scot­tish Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Part­ner­ship.

The Part­ner­ship will be in place by March 2015 and has an agreed pur­pose, set of guid­ing prin­ci­ples, and ways of work­ing. The Part­ner­ship is now work­ing to con­clude its Terms of Ref­er­ence.

South La­nark­shire re­vealed they were quit­ting COSLA in Fe­bru­ary after changes in how block grants were cal­cu­lated left them hav­ing to find £3.5m ad­di­tional sav­ings for next year.

Coun­cil­lor McAvoy said:“Our job as lo­cal coun­cil­lors is to rep­re­sent the peo­ple who live in our ar­eas and make the best pos­si­ble ar­range­ments for them. Mem­ber­ship of COSLA was hin­der­ing that rather than en­abling it, and that is why the time was right to leave.

“The new Part­ner­ship will al­low coun­cils to work bet­ter to­gether, act quicker and more ef­fi­ciently in the best in­ter­ests of the peo­ple we rep­re­sent.”

The agreed pur­pose of the Part­ner­ship is“to pro­mote and se­cure the le­git­i­mate role of its mem­ber coun­cils in the gov­er­nance of Scot­land”, and mem­ber­ship will be open to all Scot­tish lo­cal au­thor­i­ties.

Ac­cord­ing to South La­nark­shire Coun­cil, the Part­ner­ship will be a lean or­gan­i­sa­tion with a small direc­torate and sec­re­tariat, with back of­fice func­tions pro­vided by a mem­ber coun­cil. The direc­torate and sec­re­tariat will be hosted by a mem­ber au­thor­ity.

The Part­ner­ship’s de­ci­sion­mak­ing body will con­sist of all Lead­ers of mem­ber au­thor­i­ties.

De­ci­sions will be taken by con­sen­sus, rather than by a majority vote.

Dis­sent­ing mem­bers will have the flex­i­bil­ity to op­er­ate out­side the con­sen­sus while re­tain­ing mem­ber­ship of the Part­ner­ship.

The next steps for the Part­ner­ship are agree the Terms of Ref­er­ence and be­gin en­gage­ment with the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment and Trade Unions early in the new year, with the aim to for­mally cre­ate the Part­ner­ship in March 2015.

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