Local Government Reform
Think tank calls for rebirth of local democracy to begin with quarterly public forums with First Minister
Reform Scotland, the independent, non-partisan think tank, has today released a new briefing on local government reform in the wake of the council elections. In today’s briefing, the think tank calls for the direct election of mayors, the devolution of more taxation powers and the creation of a quarterly public forum between local leaders and the First Minister.
Reform Scotland argues that the political parties’ focus on the constitution rather than on local issues during the campaign should be “the straw that breaks the camel’s back”, and that we now need a shift away from central control in Edinburgh towards local control in city chambers and town halls.
The paper calls for:
- directly-elected mayors, so that local people know who their local leader is, and elect them directly to drive reform and to champion their community to politicians at Holyrood and Westminster.
- a quarterly public meeting between the First Minister and Scotland’s council leaders, so that those who deliver local services are heard and listened to by the centre of national government.
- the full devolution of local taxes, including giving local authorities the ability to retain, reform or replace council tax with another form of local taxation better suited to their local needs