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BILL PROMISED ON ELECTORAL REFORM - 14:24HRS

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BILL PROMISED ON ELECTORAL REFORM ...
BILL PROMISED ON ELECTORAL REFORM

The Executive today confirmed it will publish a Local Governance Bill before the end of this Parliamentary Session.

The Bill will include the Single Transferable Vote as the alternative choice to the First Past The Post system for local authority elections.

The Bill will be available for decision by the new Executive following the May 2003 Scottish parliamentary elections.

The Executive will announce its intentions on the other issues included in the Local Government White Paper in due course.

Responding to a Parliamentary Question on the consultation on electoral systems for local government from Alex Neil MSP, Minister for Finance and Public Services Andy Kerr said:

'Responses to the consultation showed a significant majority in favour of the Single Transferable Vote (STV) system.

'In line with the Executive's commitment to making progress on electoral reform, we have decided to prepare a Local Governance Bill that will include STV as the alternative choice to First Past The Post electoral system.

'We intend to publish the Bill before the end of the Parliamentary session and it would be then available for decision by the new Executive following the May 2003 elections. We will announce our intentions on the other issues included in the White Paper to Parliament in due course.'

First Minister Jack McConnell added:

'I am committed to the Partnership Agreement which made clear that we would make progress on electoral reform.

'It is a fact that there are members of my own party who oppose electoral reform. Although the published Bill will not be introduced before May 2003, as a matter of democratic principle, I believe that it is important that the new Executive should have the opportunity to take a decision on this issue.'

Deputy First Minister Jim Wallace said:

'This agreement is a major advance towards achieving STV for local council elections, a move that will significantly enhance local democracy in Scotland. Parliament will soon be in a position to take a decision on the Bill and it will be possible to make the changes in good time for the 2007 elections,' reports The Scottish Executive.

http://www.scotland.gov.uk/pages/news/2002/09/SEFD095.aspx

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