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STEWART URGES SCOTS COUNCILS TO PLAN AHEAD FOR REFORM

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With the House of Lords committee stage of the Local Government Reform Bill now completed, Scottish local governmen...
With the House of Lords committee stage of the Local Government Reform Bill now completed, Scottish local government minister Allan Stewart has urged all local authorities to begin preparing in earnest for the reshaping of Scotland's councils.

Mr Stewart said: 'All the essential detail which councils need to start planning for the change over is now set out and we are firmly on schedule for the April 1995 shadow elections and the April 1996 start date.

'During 200 hours of scrutiny, in both houses of parliament, we have been open to valid arguments in favour of amendments: the number of councils proposed has, for example, increased from 28 to 32. However the minister added that 'the bill's main provisions remain virtually unchanged'.

He said: 'I urge those councils which have so far resisted any moves on preparation to act in the best interests of their staff and local people. My message is simple: start planning now.'
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