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

SCOTS URGED TO REFORM CABINETS

  • Comment
Scottish councils are in a pre-eminent position to experiment with a cabinet system of government, according to Con...
Scottish councils are in a pre-eminent position to experiment with a cabinet system of government, according to Convention of Scottish Local Authorities chief executive Douglas Sinclair.

Unlike their English and Welsh counterparts, councils in Scotland are not prevented in law from establishing a single-party cabinet, for example. They are also not statutorily required to have any committees.

Mr Sinclair said any council in Scotland could tomorrow change the council's role to one of scrutiny as well as budget and major policy approval.

That 'highly attractive experimental playing field made it surprising that no councils are experimenting with cabinet government', he said.

'The reason is because the climate for change hasn't been sufficiently nurtured.'

In a speech to a COSLA conference on cabinet government, Mr Sinclair argued that the Labour Party, the government and COSLA all had a role to play in encouraging councils and providing advice.

'There is a lot of interest in the whole subject now,' he said afterwards, pointing to a recent COSLA poll which revealed that two-thirds of Scottish leaders supported the introduction of a cabinet system (LGC, 18 December). 'You wouldn't have got that sort of response two years ago.'

Mr Sinclair warned that one of the key barriers to successful cabinet government was party whipping. 'If scrutiny is to be truly effective and credible it cannot operate alongside tight group control,' he said. 'Similarly the cabinet must have some freedom of action.'

  • 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.