The Consultation on the National Care Service which was launched today cuts straight through the heart of the way Scotland is governed COSLA President Councillor Alison Evison said today (Monday).
“The Consultation launched today cuts through the heart of governance in Scotland – not only does it have serious implications for Local Government – it is an attack on localism and on the rights of local people to make decisions democratically for their Place. It once again brings a centralising approach to how decisions which should be taken locally are made.
“We welcomed large parts of the Independent Review of Adult Social Care and have been keen to get on and deliver, however the vision this consultation sets out goes beyond the Feeley Report. It isn’t evidence based and will take years to deliver – years when we should be making improvements which will benefit all users of social care services.
“Councils know their communities and all the evidence suggests that local democratic decision making works. Councils have shown time and time again during the last 18 months of the pandemic that we can deliver for the communities we serve when we are trusted and resourced to do so.
“It is deeply concerning that the consultation is also a considerable departure from the recommendations of the independent review set up to look at Adult Social Care.
“The lack of prior engagement with Local Government is not new – the partnership between the Scottish Government and Local Government which we have been seeking to build, continues to elude us in practice and it is the communities we serve who are losing out.
“Let’s be clear - this is not a “thinly veiled” attack on Local Government – there is no subtlety to it and, sadly for local communities, the ‘onion peel’ of Local Government services by this Government shows no sign of letting up.
“On behalf of the communities we serve, COSLA and Local Government will engage constructively with the Consultation process. People may be surprised by the extent of services covered by this Consultation and I would urge as many as possible to respond to it, as this could really be the end for anything other than central control in Scotland.
“We all want better services for our communities, nobody more so than Local Government and that is what Local and National Government should be working on collectively for our communities.”