Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Local Accountability ?

What was I saying about misplaced optimism ?..........
Anyway, attended the Pentlands Neighbourhood Partnership (NP) meeting last night. Nothing unusual or earth shattering about that, however, they briefly discussed an update on how Fairer Scotland Funding will be dealt with in future. In summary, FSF is used to target specific priorities, ususally in areas of deprivation, such as access to jobs, health inequalities, Early Intervention etc and until now this has been handled and monitored through the NPs, thereby creating a local view and a line of accountability for what local priorities are set, how money is spent and what services are delivered and how successfully.
Apparently, FSF is to be reduced (by the Scottish Government) by 30% next year, will no longer be ring fenced and will be absorbed into Council departments who will also be given the responsibility to deliver on the priorities.
I am not impressed with this change at all, for numerous reasons. Lack of local accountability, reduced ability for local areas to set their own priorties and finally a reluctance by some Council departments to be accountable to the NPs. I understand the proposals are being re-examined but if they press ahead with anything like what I've outlined above I shall be reporting further and in more detail.

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