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COSLA BACKS LOCAL GOVERNMENT REFORM PLANS

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The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities has voted to back proposals for radical changes in the way local autho...
The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities has voted to back proposals for radical changes in the way local authorities are mananged, including a 'drastic reduction' in the number of councillors who run the four major cities, reports The Scotsman (p4).

Cosla president Keith Geddes said his organisation supported the government plans which could put small cabinet-style administrations in charge of local authorities.

He said changes in the role of councillors were needed if local government was to adopt wider, strategic responsibilities in communities by working in partnership with the private sector and other bodies.

He added: 'I believe there is also a case for the number of elected members in the four cities being drastically reduced if more efficient, well-run local authorities are to be created.'

He suggested that, as part of a cabinet-style system, backbench councillors who were not members of the cabinet could be given an important role in scrutinising its work, and in developing policy and ensuring much stronger links between the councils and their local communities.

'It would be a different role for the elected member, but it could also be a more relevant role as we move into the millennium,' he said.

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