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'WILFUL DISREGARD FOR SCOTTISH LOCAL GOVERNMENT'

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The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities has slammed the obvious wilful disregard for Scottish local government...
The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities has slammed the obvious wilful disregard for Scottish local government in the legislative programme announcedyesterday.

Cosla president Pat Watters said on Wednesday: 'Whatever it looks like this programme has huge implications for local government and the threats are still there.

'I am extremely disappointed I spoke with the first minister last night and

apart from the single correctional agency none of this was mentioned to me.

'I have been promised another ministerial meeting on Friday before our

leaders meeting and I will be pressing the point that patience within local

government is wearing extremely thin at the moment.

'Our call to develop a realistic partnership would appear to have fallen on

deaf ears and this is something I will be stressing to council leaders on

Friday.

'We were promised no surprises by the first minister and the executive - at

this moment in time we are getting a surprise a day.

'At our annual conference in March minister after minister told us that

local government was the best place for service delivery and that there

would be no centralisation now what we are getting is some services removed

from local government and the executive giving itself the power to directly

intervene in others.'

'This is not self interest or self preservation it is the truth. We are not

saying that everything we do is perfect but if there are problems perceived

or otherwise lets sit down and discuss how we get round them surely it is

not beyond the two of us to solve them rather than one partner remove

something from the other without any evidence to back it up.

'It is an insult for the first minister to suggest that these are the

People's Priorities we are the elected tier of government closest to the

people yet we have not been consulted on any of this. Local government is a

democratically elected tier of government in Scotland not an agency it is

disgusting that we are treated with such disdain.

'It is disappointing and at a time when we are dealing with other important

matters we do not need this interference.'

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