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Scottish councils call on parties to step up more funding in their election campaigning

COUNCIL leaders are demanding that Scotland’s political parties commit to a “menu for change” in the run-up to May’s Holyrood election, insisting this must include “fair funding” for local government.

Local government body, the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (Cosla), argues that councils are “at the heart” of communities across Scotland and called for “fair funding.”

But Cosla president Alison Evison claimed local authorities have for “too long” been given a “poor diet” in terms of the funding they receive from Scottish ministers.

Ahead of the election, she called for all political parties in Scotland to acknowledge the role local authorities play.

Cosla, which represents all 32 of Scotland’s councils, has published a blueprint urging all parties to “make local government the one in 21.”

The blueprint includes a demand for a “fair funding settlement for Scottish local government,” which Cosla says must include the removal of ring-fenced funding pots, where councils get no control over how the money is spent.

Ms Evison said that the new parliament gives councils the “opportunity for us to reiterate our value,” adding: “For too long Scottish local government has not had its rightful place at the top table.

“Our response during the pandemic has been remarkable, our communities have appreciated what we have done on their behalf and realise that only local government comprises all of the various ingredients that can truly deliver for our communities.

“Therefore we call on all parties to make a commitment to the Cosla local government blueprint in their forthcoming manifestos.

“The value of local government can be seen in our response to Covid-19, where councils have taken decisive action to support communities, people and businesses.”

 

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