CSPP, Edinburgh (04/08/2015) - CSPP Chair Richard Kerley has written a lead article in the Herald newspaper today calling on politicians and stakeholders to consider the “bigger picture” on local government finance, local democracy and public service reform.
In his article he argues that the number of councils should not be reduced as a cost cutting measure, as “we have fewer and bigger councils than any other comparable country in Europe and, in some of those countries, they have better council services than we do”.
Rather, in the face of cuts being made to local government budgets, and the need to promote greater local authority autonomy, Professor Kerley suggests that councils be given more powers to raise finance themselves, including re-localising business rates and enabling councils to raise a “tourist tax” if desired.
The CSPP Chair, who is Professor of Management at Queen Margaret University, also addresses public service reform, arguing that government needs to move beyond the “Lord Haig approach” of sending ever more professionals to the “front line”, by also developing innovative solutions in order to maintain service provision in the face of rising costs and demand.
The Herald’s news coverage of Professor Kerley’s article can also be read here.
Image: CSPP Chair Richard Kerley (background, centre) presented the Centre's considerations on public service reform and community empowerment to the Scottish Parliament's Information Centre (SPICe) in April 2015 (CSPP)