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WORK TO BEGIN ON STAFFING ADVICE FOR SCOTTISH COUNCILS

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The government's planned local government staff commission for Scotland is to be set up in 'shadow' form this summe...
The government's planned local government staff commission for Scotland is to be set up in 'shadow' form this summer, Scottish secretary Ian Lang has announced.

Mr Lang stated that the shadow commission will begin preparing advice for councils on staffing issues arising from local government reform.

Its pathfinding work will make it possible for the proposed full commission with statutory powers to be established once the Local Government etc (Scotland) Bill receives Royal Assent.

The shadow commission replaces the Staff Advisory Committee, set up in May, which was limited to offering advice only to the Secretary of State on the staffing issues in the Bill.

Mr Ian Lang said: 'Clause 12 of the Local Government etc (Scotland) Bill provides for the establishment of a staff commission to exercise functions in relation to the staff and the staffing of authorities.

'In advance of the commission being established, I have appointed a staff advisory committee, chaired Mr Robert Peggie, who took up his appointment on 1 April 1994.

'The advisory committee has, in the course of its work, had discussions with a number of local authorities. As a result of those discussions it has become clear that additional work is required and in particular that there is a pressing need from authorities for advice on the staffing issues which they need to consider.

'There is a need also for the preparation of advice for local authorities on individual staffing issues, some of which are very complex. I therefore intend to establish the staff commission in shadow form before the Bill receives Royal Assent.

'It is also my intention formally to designate the existing chairman and members of the staff advisory committee as a shadow staff commission.

Mr Lang added that the shadow commission will continue the work begun by the advisory committee as well as advising local authorities and making preparations for the establishment of the full commission.

He said that Parliamentary approval for the expenditure was sought in the 1994-95 Main Estimates for Housing and Environmental Services, Scotland Vote (Class XIV, Vote 7) and was subject to the passage of the Local Government etc (Scotland) Bill.

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