Genuine political and fiscal power should be in the hands of local communities
Andy Wightman MSP, Local Government spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (10 April) welcomed the call from a think tank for councils to be empowered.
Reports suggest Reform Scotland's manifesto for May's local elections will call for reform of how local government is financed, warning that local democracy is being eroded by central government.
Andy Wightman MSP said:
“Genuine political and fiscal power should be in the hands of local communities. Instead we’ve seen increasing centralisation that undermines councils and the services they deliver. Reform Scotland’s contribution is well timed and well made.
“In November, I led a Holyrood debate on local democracy, in which SNP and Conservative MSPs disappointingly voted against a motion endorsing the final report of COSLA’s cross-party Strengthening Local Democracy commission. In parliament I have argued for a fiscal framework for local government, reform of local taxation and will be consulting shortly on incorporating the European Charter of Local Self-government into Scots law.
“Greens at council level are fighting hard to revitalise local democracy, pushing for every community to have a say in council budgets and for councils to have the powers other European towns and cities take for granted. While some other parties are shamefully treating the council elections as a proxy for constitutional issues, Greens are clear that local services matter, communities should be trusted to decide their future, and that local democracy is worth fighting for.”
Scottish local democracy being eroded by ministers, thinktank warns (Herald)