Earlier this week the First Minister received the McIntosh report on local government and the Scottish Parliament. In that submission was a recommendation that a power of general competence be considered for councils. We are considering that recommendation in conjunction with the 29 other recommendations. We expect to have an opportunity to debate them in early July.
I was heartened by Wendy Alexander's comments in The Scotsman yesterday: she shares our view that the recommendations of the McIntosh report should not be cherry-picked. Will the minister confirm that the McIntosh recommendations will be implemented in full, at the earliest practical opportunity, without undue procrastination? Will the minister distance himself from the negative comments made in the press yesterday by Charlie Gordon, leader of Glasgow City Council?
As this chamber knows, those two individuals are very good friends of mine and I often support the views of Wendy Alexander and the leader of Glasgow City Council. The McIntosh commission was an opportunity to engage in the debate about the future of local government. A series of recommendations will be considered by this Parliament. I hope that Mr Gibson shares my enthusiasm for renewing local democracy in partnership with local authorities for the future benefit of everyone in Scotland.