Yet another local government reform?

The Herald today carries a story that politicians, academics and business leaders have united to propose a change in the structure of local government in Scotland, cutting the number of local authorities from 32 to just ten.

If it happened, this would be the third major re-jig of local authorities in Scotland in just over thirty years!

First we had the move to regional and district authorities. Then, when everyone got restless for more change, we went back to the beginning and re-introduced unitary authorities.

Given that timeframes on organisations as big as local authorities are that much greater, it sounds a little like re-arranging the furniture obsessively.

  • Yes, there is a lot that we all suspect could be more efficient about our local government system.
  • Yes, many of us believe that there should be more joined-up thinking between neighbouring authorities (greater Aberdeen being good example), but that is happening anyway
  • Yes, there are big financial problems in local authorities. But, is yet another reform the best way to save cost? Is it not just as likely to increase costs?
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