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Joint working arrangements have been informally agreed between Scottish unitaries which would prevent regional in- ...
Joint working arrangements have been informally agreed between Scottish unitaries which would prevent regional in- house manual services being split up after reorganisation.

Four unitary councils which take on Lothian RC services in April agreed on Tuesday that specialist units in its road maintenance service will come under the control of a single 'lead' authority.

Similar arrangements are being sought for other blue-collar services.

Edinburgh UA policy committee chair Keith Geddes said: 'We want to co-operate on services like catering and road maintenance to keep contracts in-house. There won't be a total disaggregation.'

He said Midlothian, which has a population of just 80,000, had informally agreed to share whole services with Edinburgh.

The new councils - West Lothian UA, Edinburgh UA, Midlothian UA and East Lothian UA - have agreed to use the specialist road maintenance units. Services provided include surfacing, traffic management and fencing. Councillors will discuss an area-wide approach to concessionary travel, childcare, voluntary organisations and structure planning.

Elsewhere in Scotland, the three unitaries emerging from Central RC have agreed to use region staff and software for council tax mailing and are considering sharing a computerised database.

Strathclyde RC is proposing that its successor authorities have central purchasing and a single department for European affairs.

The Tayside unitaries are discussing running road maintenance and cleaning services through joint arrangement, as well as centres for the mentally and physically handicapped.

Grampian RC is suggesting that its industrial development department - which has a £4.5 million budget, bids for European grants and develops business partnerships and investment - be kept as one body.

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