LGiU Scotland response to the Queen’s Speech

Jonathan Carr-West, Chief Executive, LGiU, said:

“The big question about this UK government is whether it represents continuity or radical change. This was the most ambitious Queen’s Speech we have seen for some years, seeking to signal that the Government has ambitions beyond Brexit with a wide-ranging domestic policy agenda. But most of the measures relating directly to local government will be of only academic interest to Scottish councils, as funding and social care are devolved and English devolution is, by definition, concerned only with England.

On all these issues, local government in England is likely to feel that it is as far as ever from sustainable solutions. 

In Scotland, interest is likely to focus on the broader issues addressed in the Queen’s Speech, Brexit, climate change and a commitment to a constitutional review. Across all these areas, the stage seems set for a constitutional showdown between Westminster and Holyrood. it is clear that we are heading for a difficult period with a UK civil service trying to work with trust and integrity for two very different governments. The key rub will be how the Barnett consequential monies for the NHS and other services are used and applied. And where will that leave local government funding. 

It’s essential that local government and its partners be part of that conversation and that whatever constitutional settlement we end up with recognises the importance of autonomous, well-funded local government as a crucial vehicle for delivering on the hopes and aspirations of communities across Scotland.”