Dr Thomson was heavily involved in writing the local government white paper.
'Coasters will be in good company,' she said. 'Our impression is most will be in the coasting category. There are way too many coasting authorities. There are way too many which are waiting for all this to go away.'
She believes having more powers and freedoms for the best councils is the only way to stop them being held back by the worst: 'When you treat all councils the same you treat everyone as failing.'
services, then it has to deliver to an acceptable standard.'
The ring-fencing of education funding would have little effect on how most councils allocated funds, she predicted.
She emphasised the speed with which the white paper proposals could be implemented: 'Almost nothing needs legislation - this means we can get on with it.'