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FORSYTH WARNS COUNCILS TO PUT HOUSE IN ORDER

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Scottish secretary Michael Forsyth has warned the mainly Labour-controlled new local authorities in Scotland that h...
Scottish secretary Michael Forsyth has warned the mainly Labour-controlled new local authorities in Scotland that he would intervene directly to stop what he believes is an abuse of power.

Mr Forsyth will today catalogue of excesses by Labour councils, reports The Herald (p6) and The Scotsman (p1).

'It is precisely because I value local government, because I recognise its crucial contribution to our communities, and because I desperately want to see it play a flagship role in the devolving of power to our people that I so utterly deplore its abuses,' he will tell a fringe meeting at the Conservative party conference today.

The Herald reports that Mr Forsyth will say that if Labour councillors were sincere in their complaints about having insufficient powers, 'they must seize this, the most significant opportunity for local government in decades', and 'must reform themselves, quickly and thoroughly'.

And if Cosla or the councils themselves did not act he was prepared to act unilaterally.
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