Local Government (Scotland)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:23 pm on 17th June 1991.

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Photo of Mr Ian Lang Mr Ian Lang , Galloway and Upper Nithsdale 4:23 pm, 17th June 1991

I have already made it clear that a Scottish assembly would not make local government more local, but would centralise it. An assembly would take power and integrity from local government. It is absolutely untrue to say that we have denigrated local government. We have consistently sought to strengthen it. The move to a single tier of local government will create stronger, more free-standing and more integrated local authorities throughout Scotland.

On whether a commission is appropriate, I have said that I am willing to consider representations on what sort of advisory body we should look to for further advice later in the consultation process. I see no function now for a commission such as that which is being set up for England. The Labour party's proposals in that regard would be more convincing if I had heard one Member just once promise to set up any sort of advisory commission on its proposal for a Scottish assembly.