Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

FARRINGTON WARNS AGAINST OFFICERS HIJACKING REVIEW

  • Comment
Council members should be wary of allowing senior officers to hijack the process of setting up new unitary authorit...
Council members should be wary of allowing senior officers to hijack the process of setting up new unitary authorities, said Josie Farrington, leader of the Association of County Councils, last week.

She was addressing delegates at the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities annual conference in Dunblane.

Emphasising that she was speaking in a purely personal capacity, Baroness Farrington advised members against becoming absorbed in issues such as the identity of the new council leader. Instead they should ensure officers presented them with impartial advice about service delivery and structure, not just their own preferred solutions.

'There is a responsibility in my view for that professional advice to be given openly and publicly if we want to gain respect,' she said.

Baroness Farrington attacked the erosion of local democracy under the Conservative government, the centralisation of power in the hands of ministers and an emasculated civil service.

She argued in favour of regional assemblies throughout Britain with their own revenue-raising powers.

We already have a situation of 'regional government by civil servants', she said. They 'throw major decisions back to the people in government but don't come before Parliament'.

She called on Scottish members to help widen the debate for democratic accountability into English regions.

She referred to the government's decision to reopen the review in some English shire counties. 'Don't believe an independent review would have given you protection from gerrymandering of boundaries for political ends.'

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.