Commenting on today’s (Tuesday) statement by Derek Mackay, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Constitution, in response to the Barclay Review - COSLA’s Resources Spokesperson Councillor Gail Macgregor said she welcomed the Government’s approach in relation to further discussion around the review of non-domestic rates.

Councillor Macgregor also said she was pleased that local government through COSLA has been invited onto the Government’s Advisory Group, as a key partner, to consider some of the Barclay Reforms.

Speaking following the statement in Parliament by Mr Mackay, Councillor Macgregor said:

“I recognise that the Scottish Government will want to have a look at and act upon some of the recommendations that have come out of the Barclay Review. This is only right and proper and it is their absolute right to do so.  

“Specifically on the removal of charitable relief from the ALEOs that run council leisure services – I am pleased that this is something that they agree with us requires further consideration and consultation.

“This is an issue that COSLA and Scottish Local Government feel strongly about and is certainly something we welcome the commitment today by The Cabinet Secretary to hold further talks with us on.

“Both Scottish and Local Government have the same aspirations in relation to tackling inequality and improving the Health and Well-being of the Scottish population. Removing charitable relief from leisure centres flies directly in the face of achieving these aspirations.

“The reality of such a move would be that once again the poorest and most vulnerable in our communities would be the ones to suffer. Councils would be left with the fairly unpalatable decision of increasing entrance charges or indeed worse still closure.

“Finally, in relation to 3 year valuations, again this is something COSLA and Scottish Local Government is supportive of – just with the usual caveat that there will of course be resource and capacity issues.”

Article published: 
Tue, 12/09/2017 - 16:00