Minister welcomes new councils


CABINET Secretary John Swinney has this weekend set out the Government’s partnership approach to working with local government as final agreements are reached across the country.

Positive, productive partnership working between the Scottish Government and local government is vital to deliver economic growth and improve quality of life for people throughout Scotland.

Cabinet Secretary John Swinney stressed the importance with strong bonds between local and central government

Mr Swinney also set out the importance of Public Service Reform in delivering public leaders’ shared commitment to improve people’s lives.

Mr Swinney and Local Government Minister Derek Mackay plan to meet with all of Scotland’s council leaders in June, visit local authorities around the country to discuss shared priorities with administrations, and Mr Mackay will also write to Council Leaders as they are confirmed in office.

Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth John Swinney said:

“A strong partnership between the Scottish Government and local government is central to improving quality of life and delivering economic growth throughout Scotland in the tight public sector spending environment.

“Over the last five years that partnership has given local authorities new financial freedoms to address local issues and we have worked together to sustain our economy, to support older people, to clean up communities and to drive up standards in our schools.

“Most recently our partnership has helped to protect 500,000 people – including 250,000 pensioners – from cuts to council tax benefit.

“Although local authority budgets have been maintained, we must all adjust to substantial reductions in the Scottish budget, as pressures on public services continue to increase.

“As leaders in public life, we are bound by a shared commitment to improve people’s lives, and the Public Service Reform programme is key to achieving this.

“Our health and social care reforms will ensure that our public services provide consistently high levels of care to older people and other vulnerable adults.

“Following the joint review of Community Planning undertaken recently by COSLA and the Scottish Government, we will use community planning to achieve our overarching purpose of sustainable economic growth, and through the delivery of high quality public services, deliver better outcomes for the people of Scotland.

“And building a partnership for progress across the country will be essential as we work together to address challenges of the tight public sector spending climate. I look forward to working with new administrations and new Council Leaders in the years ahead and will meet as many Council Leaders as possible as soon as possible.”