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 indoors. 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 relationship 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 income. 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 ended. 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 fenced. 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 democratic. On the other hand, Scotland is not a large country and the SG has policies it wishes to be implemented across the whole country. 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 flak. 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?