Scottish Government and Local Authorities

Scottish Government
and Local Authorities
Cooperation or Conflict?
Learning Intention
•To identify how Local
authorities and the Scottish
government co-operate.
Success Criteria
• Outline how they have agreed
over the budget.
Outline any issues that have
arisen from the budget.
The relationship between the two tiers
of government is a vital one.
The Scottish parliament can pass laws
but it often relies on local authorities
to make sure they happen.
The historic and much praised ban on
smoking in enclosed public places would
never have happened had local
authorities not made sure pubs and
other licensed premises banned smoking
Relations between the Scottish
Government and COSLA (the voice of
the 32 local authorities) haven’t been
left to chance.
The “concordat” has formalised the
The Budget
Many councils feel that they don’t have
the funds to deliver what the Scottish
Government promises.
As spending cuts bite, they feel they are
getting the blame, rather than the SNP
Scottish Government.
Cooperation over budget
• COSLA agreed with no raise to council tax
as only makes up about 20% of their
SNP Scottish Government has, to
COSLA's delight, reduced the level of
'ring fencing'.
In other words, it is more up to the LAs
how they spend their money.
Many are pleased that ring fencing has
A good move...?
• Argued that LA could be trusted to spend
their money wisely. 2007-2008 £10 billion
given to LA and only £3 billion ring
As a result, Labour argued that it would
create a 'post code' lottery.
LA would spend their money in differnt
ways meaning services would differ area
to area. Vulnerable groups may suffer.
Who gets the blame?
• Handing power over finance to local
authorities sounds very
On the other hand, Scotland is not
a large country and the SG has
policies it wishes to be
implemented across the whole
Flagship Policies
• Reduce class sizes to 18 in primary
schools, 20 in secondary schools in
Maths and English in S1/S2.
1000 new police officers.
By ending ring fencing how will
they be able to do this?
Flagship Policies
• Local authorities will decide
whether to cut class sizes.
But they may feel there are better
ways to spend money.
If services are cut, the SG can
blame the council and avoid the
The Concordat
• Agreed they will not increase the
council tax.
End to ring fencing and education
chiefs will not raise the council tax
to reduce council tax- how will they
meet their aims?
The Concordat
• Extra£70 billion awarded to allow
council tax to be frozen.
Councillors are in a weak position,
they signed the Concordat and
were given extra money.
SG have done nothing wrong?

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