A SENIOR council leader has broken ranks to condemn the government’s named person policy – calling it “intrusive nonsense” imposed by “SNP dictators”.
Alisdair Rhind is deputy leader of the Highland Council – the first of Scotland’s local authorities to trial the controversial new scheme.
But now he has spoken out against the programme – which will assign one carer outside the family for each child in Scotland, without the need for parental permission.
The father of three adult children said: “I’m totally against it. It’s an intrusion of government into family life. The government is way off the mark.
“The best people to look after children are their parents.
“Children are monitored from their nursery days into primary education and secondary education.
“Parents may not know that, but they are monitored at all stages within the education system and that is adequate enough.”
He added that many constituents in his Tain and Easter Ross ward had also criticised the the scheme as “ridiculous”.
The independent councillor went on: “This government are wanting to intrude into people’s personal lives and be dictators to people and we can’t have that, really.
“They should back off that scheme. And I’m pleased to see some of the opposition parties opposing it.
“Hopefully, the government will listen to what is being said.”
Inverness Labour councillor Bet McAllister has also revealed that she has some serious concerns over the scheme.
She is now calling for it to be reviewed before going ahead.
She said: “I’ve had increased misgivings. It seemed a good idea when Highland Council pioneered it, and I have sympathy with the child protection principle behind it.
“The Scottish Government, however, have not injected sufficient resources and do not appear to have fully thought through their plans for its implementation.
“Parents I speak to are genuinely concerned at the compulsory element of ‘named person’.
“Shouldn’t resources be channelled instead towards protecting children identified as being at risk?
“The two most recent horrific child murders in Scotland involved children whose vulnerability had already been identified.
“There is justified concern about the scheme and we need a genuinely independent review to take evidence from parents and professionals alike, plus hear from various bodies.
“This review could result in refining the scheme to make it more acceptable and workable and in the best interests of families and children.”