How can we improve Cosla asks members

3 May 01
The beleaguered Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (Cosla) has asked for advice from its remaining members on how to improve its services, revamp its structure and recover from the defection of three of its members earlier this year.

04 May 2001

Cosla has sent out a consultation paper to members as part of the fundamental review of its activities forced on the representative organisation by widespread dissatisfaction, culminating in the defection of Glasgow, Falkirk and Clackmannanshire.

Cosla admits that the departure of the three councils has led to a potential budget deficit of around £600,000 this year, which is expected to increase over the next two years.

The consultation paper stresses that any future incarnation of Cosla must be based on policy development, finance and the employers' role.

It contains 27 questions including: 'Do you consider that Cosla represents value for money?' and 'Do you have any general views on how Cosla might reduce its costs or increase its income?'.

Members are also asked their views on the current population-based subscription system and whether the three missing councils should be charged a separate fee for the employers' function provided by the organisation.

The paper was prepared by a review group made up of 13 councillors and chief executives from across Scotland who have been asked to report on Cosla's core activities, work priorities, structures and budget requirements.

Christine May, leader of Fife Council and a member of the review group, said: 'I would urge all colleagues to respond promptly to this consultation and to be as honest, open and frank as possible.

'We fully intend to have proposals for the future of Cosla to put to the convention meeting in June.'


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