COSLA and Improvement Service Annual Conference to welcome First Minister

Entitled “Our Agenda” the COSLA and Improvement Service Annual Conference gets underway in St. Andrews two weeks today (Thursday 11th, Friday 12th October).

This year we are pleased to announce Business Stream as the main headline sponsor of the Annual Conference 2018.

The COSLA/IS event, which takes place over two days, will forensically examine what a bespoke Local Government Agenda looks like and explore why more than ever, in today’s uncertain world, local government’s distinct agenda is so important.

COSLA President Councillor Alison Evison who will open the event on the Thursday morning (11th October), with her Presidential Address, will tell Conference that as a legitimate sphere of government in Scotland it is right and proper that we define, build on and promote our own unique agenda.

The COSLA President will also outline to Conference several reasons that support Scottish local government having a distinct agenda of its own, these include:

  • Millions of people rely on the thousands of services that Local Government in Scotland deliver every day. 
  • Together, councils spend almost £19 billion a year on local services, and employ over 240,000 people – nearly 10% of all employment in Scotland.
  • Local councils are often the largest employer in an area, we educate our young people and we care for our old. 
  • 1,889, 657 votes were cast in the local government elections in May 2017. Representing a turnout of 46.9% - the highest turnout for a stand-alone council election since 1977.

In addition to Councillor Evison, Conference will be given a keynote presentation from the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, and hear from a range of Scottish, UK and European speakers including The Rt. Hon. Lord John Reid of Cardowan.  

Derek Mackay MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Constitution; Aileen Campbell MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government, and Andy Wightman MSP will also address Conference during a very busy two days.

The event in St Andrews will also hear views from two influential people in the world of political communication, Kevin Pringle and Ramsay Jones, who will look at how we emphasise the distinct role local government has and, also, how we build on our positive messaging that Council Leaders wanted to adopt as part of our Communications Strategy.

Friday morning (12th October) sees a Question Time style debate featuring key players from each of the main political parties at Westminster and Holyrood who will give Conference their thoughts on what they and their party think about a unique agenda for local government.

In addition to the keynote speeches, the Conference is specifically designed to allow opportunities for delegates to get involved, interact and network.

The Conference will also, once again, be a celebration of the real difference local government makes in terms of innovation and service delivery in the shape of the Annual COSLA Excellence Awards Ceremony which takes place on the Thursday night.   

Article published: 
Thu, 27/09/2018 - 08:15