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CHANGE NEEDS RESOURCES - COSLA RESPONSE TO SCOTTISH BUDGET CONSULTATION

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Change in local government will require either new resources to be made available or redirection of existing resour...
Change in local government will require either new resources to be made available or redirection of existing resources COSLA's finance spokesperson Craig Roberton said today.

Commenting, following the launch by the Scottish executive of their budget consultation process for 2001, Mr Roberton said: 'COSLA has long voiced concerns over funding resources and recently called on the executive and the parliament to acknowledge the pressures placed upon local government services.

'We have argued for new resources to be made available to local government for funding new burdens and pay awards. Over the last seven years pay increases have added£700m to the pay bill.

'We feel that current central controls should be relaxed and councils should have more discretion and freedom in setting their budgets.

'I appreciate that it will always be difficult to find additional resources within a fixed sum.'

Mr Roberton continued: 'This makes it all the more important for local government in partnership with the executive to consider all of our concerns within the context of the forthcoming spending review.'

Mr Roberton concluded: 'Local government will wish to play its full part in the spending review which can help to meet the changes being sought by local government.

'Local government is committed to delivering best value and it is essential that this commitment extends across all of the public services covered by the Scottish block.'

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