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McINTOSH COMMISSION PUBLISHES SECOND PAPER

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The Commission on Local Government and the Scottish Parliament, chaired by Neil McIntosh, publishes its second cons...
The Commission on Local Government and the Scottish Parliament, chaired by Neil McIntosh, publishes its second consultation paper today. This represents an intermediate stage in its work, on the way to a final report to be presented to the Scottish parliament next year.

The paper builds on the responses to the commission's first round of consultation, sets out some of its own emerging views on a number of subjects, and invites further comment. The propositions upon which views are invited include the following:

- The basis of the future relationship between local government and the Scottish executive should be set out in a Covenant, to be presented to the parliament; the parliament should oversee its application

- The parliament itself should set up a standing forum for dialogue between the parliament and local government

- The relationship between local authorities and local communities, and the role and future of community councils in this relationship, should be thoroughly reviewed

- Separating the executive role of councillors from the role of representing the community. This could mean an executive committee - a 'cabinet' - balanced by a strong scrutiny role for other councillors

- Finding ways of attracting a wider and more representative range of people to serve as councillors. This could include reorganising council business to make it possible for people in full-time occupations to take part.

- Proportional representation in local government elections. The commission endorses the principle but will continue to consult on the impact of the alternative methods available.

Mr McIntosh said:

'We have spent the last few months consulting widely across Scotland and have been impressed with the level of interest in our work. This second consultation paper takes on board the many comments, suggestions and responses we have received and shows how our own thinking is developing.

'I hope that everyone with an interest will read our proposals and make their views known.'

BACKGROUND

1. The commission was appointed by the secretary of state in January this year, with the following remit: to consider how to build the most effective relations between local government and the Scottish parliament and Scottish executive; and to consider how councils can best make themselves responsive and democratically accountable to the communities they serve.

2. The members are: Neil McIntosh (chairman); Alan Alexander; Eileen Mackay; Margaret Millar; Andrew Cubie; Matt Smith; Maureen Watt; Graham Leicester.

3. The commission's first consultation paper was published in April and received over 400 responses. The commission is to report to the Scottish executive when the executive takes office.

4. Copies of the paper will be available on the internet at:

www.lg-scot-commission.gov.uk

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