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 Gavin Strang Gavin Strang , Edinburgh East 4:23 pm, 17th June 1991

Surely a Government who have transferred local power to the centre, destroyed the financial base of local government and intervened to prevent local councils from implementing the policies on which they were elected—as the Government did in Lothian only a few weeks ago—are quite unfit to embark on such consultation. In the circumstances, is not asking a Tory Secretary of State to present a new scheme for Scottish local government a bit like asking Saddam Hussein to present a charter for independent, self-governing countries in the middle east?

To what extent has the Secretary of State prejudged the position? What, for example, is the basis of the reports that he has already decided that he wants the four major Scottish cities to have separate all-purpose authorities?