Rebel authorities to join forces in new partnership
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.