SNP centralisation agenda out of touch with local people

Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats Willie Rennie has welcomed a significant contribution from the Commission on Strengthening Local Democracy to the debate on allocating powers effectively across Scotland.

A report from the Commission published today after a year of taking evidence set out a range of measures which suggested how local authorities could become more accountable to their communities.

Mr Rennie gave evidence to the Commission last year, putting forward key findings from his party’s Campbell Commission. A number of the Scottish Liberal Democrat plans to strengthen local communities have been carried forward in the report today, including calls for councils to raise more of what they spend.

Commenting on the report, Mr Rennie said:

“I gave evidence to the Commission on Strengthening Local Democracy last year. I’m pleased that this significant report contains the proposals Scottish Liberal Democrats have made on equipping local government with powers to better serve their communities. Giving local authorities powers over their own business rates means they can work more closely with local businesses and boost their local economies. This is the kind of local and responsive decision-making we need in order to build a stronger economy for all of Scotland.

“Sadly, SNP ministers have presided over the most centralising government we have seen. Police, fire, council tax, hospital funding, colleges and enterprise support have all seen their local accountability stripped away in the last seven years.

“This new contribution reflects the chorus of people in Scotland who feel that the SNP’s centralisation agenda is out of touch with the real ambitions of local communities across Scotland today.”

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