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KERLEY REPORT SHELVED AS SCOTS PLAN REORGANISATION

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The Scottish Executive has shelved the Kerley report on widening access to local government while plans for major r...
The Scottish Executive has shelved the Kerley report on widening access to local government while plans for major reorganisation are discussed.

Richard Kerley, author of the report, said ministers have scrapped the plan because it raises the thorny issue of proportional representation.

He said: 'The report is awkward because it discusses proportional representation. The Executive is likely to use reorganisation as a substitute for doing anything at all. The trouble with reorganisation is it focuses on boundary disputes and ignores a number of fundamental aspects.'

Newly elected president of the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities Pat Watters (Lab) criticised the Executive for hushing up its plans for reorganisation.

He said: 'If there are any plans for re-organisation they should be put on the table and discussed.'

But he praised the Executive for shelving the Kerley report, saying: 'The Kerley report is where it should be - locked in a cupboard. It's an interesting document, but it's just one person's view. There was no evidential background to some of the major components.'

Ministers claim the report is under consideration, but sources close to the Executive insist it has been scrapped.

The Executive has refused to reveal details of proposals for local government reorganisation, but a source said there are plans to combine councils with health boards, halving the number of councils in Scotland.

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