SURF regularly contributes to the work of the Scottish Parliament’s Committee for Local Government and Regeneration. The Committee has recently launched a new inquiry into the ‘Flexibility and Autonomy of Local Government’.

The broad purpose of the inquiry is to: “inform the ongoing debate on whether there is a need to strengthen and enhance local democratic structures in Scotland.” Within this, there are five focal points:

  • The position of local government with the constitutional and legal framework in neighbouring EU jurisdictions;
  • The level of public engagement and interaction with local government, including turnout at local elections;
  • The legal and constitutional funding mechanisms available to local government;
  • How remote, peripheral or island communities are accommodated within the local government structures; and
  • The level of legal flexibility, and autonomy from central government that local government enjoys.
SURF Chief Executive Andy Milne gave evidence to the Committee’s procurement reform evidence session in November 2013

SURF Chief Executive Andy Milne gave evidence to the Committee’s procurement reform evidence session in November 2013

The Committee has invited organisations and individuals with an interest in this area to submit written evidence to inform the development of the inquiry. Specifically, members are keen to hear views on the following:

  1. Whether any action is required to be taken to improve the level of public engagement and interaction with local government;
  2. The current legal and funding positions of local government;
  3. The way that remote, peripheral and island communities are accommodated within the local government structure.;
  4. The level of legal flexibility and autonomy from central government that local government enjoys.

The consultation period closes at 6pm on Friday 28 March and the Committee requests that submissions are no more than eight pages of A4 and submitted by email to lgr.committee@scottish.parliament.uk.

SURF will be producing a submission. SURF members that would welcome the opportunity to inform this submission are invited to contact SURF Chief Executive Andy Milne directly with any views or comments by no later than Friday 21 March. Email: andymilne@scotregen.co.uk. Tel: 0141 585 6848.

Further information on the inquiry is available from the Current Business section of the Local Government & Regeneration Committee’s web-page.

 

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