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DEWAR DEMANDS EFFICIENCY

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Efficient service delivery is the best defence for local democracy, Scottish first minister Donald Dewar has told t...
Efficient service delivery is the best defence for local democracy, Scottish first minister Donald Dewar has told the Scottish TUC conference.

In a speech outlining the achievements of the UK Labour government and the Scottish Executive, Mr Dewar told delegates spending on local government services would 'rise to [its] highest ever in real terms' during the next two years.

'I recognise the determination of most authorities to improve performance,' Mr Dewar said. 'Local government in Scotland's grant per head of the population from central funds is 30% higher than in the UK as a whole. It underlines the need to deliver.'

Acknowledging Unison-led opposition to the recently announced transfer of City of Glasgow Council's housing stock, Mr Dewar said protection for workers should not detract from the fact that public sector housing is 'primarily for the tenants' (LGC, 7 April). He claimed the£1bn transfer would create 3,000 jobs.

While confirming the executive still wants to repeal s2A of the Local Government Act 1986, which forbids the 'promotion' of homosexuality by councils, Mr Dewar gave no timeframe for reviving the stalled repeal.
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