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SNP’s real commitment to local power is questionable

March 8, 2013 2:44 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Commenting on a COSLA debate featuring Alistair Darling MP and Nicola Sturgeon MSP on the place of local government in a post referendum Scotland, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie MSP said:

"Local authorities will find it difficult to set store by the SNP's Willie RennieWillie Renniepromises. On independence promises and in government, the SNP's real commitment to local power is questionable.

"Publicly, Nicola Sturgeon has promised that the SNP would protect councils in an independent Scotland. Privately, John Swinney's leaked document shows SNP ministers are panicking about public sector jobs in the face of volatile oil revenues. In government the SNP has grabbed power back to the centre in its police reforms and failed to deliver Aberdeen City Council its fair share of funding.

"Scottish Liberal Democrat plans for home rule in a federal UK would give powers back to local communities. Enabling local councils to raise half of what it spends would improve local accountability and power.

"If we want to build a stronger economy in a fairer society, enabling every person to get on in life, we need to give local communities the powers to choose the solutions and services that suit their needs."

Notes to Editors:
1. The localism section in the Scottish Liberal Democrat Home Rule report can be found here