Single public authority proposal for Local Governance Review

Scottish Borders Council headquarters building

Published: Wednesday, 19th September 2018

A proposed submission to a local government review to explore the potential to create a single public authority for the Scottish Borders will be discussed by Councillors next week.

The proposal suggests a single public authority could serve the best interests of local residents across the area in future years.

If approved at our full meeting on Tuesday 25 September, the submission will be made to the Scottish Government and COSLA as part of the joint Local Governance Review which aims to consider how powers, responsibilities and resources are shared across national and local government and with communities.

Reasons for proposal

The proposal argues that a single public authority would be a logical next step following a series of Scottish Government actions in recent years which have aimed to eliminate boundaries and obstacles between public sector organisations to deliver improved outcomes for residents.

These include the Scottish Government’s report into the future delivery of public services by the Christie Commission, the launch of the National Performance Framework - which sets out a vision for national wellbeing in Scotland – as well as the Community Empowerment Act that aims to allow residents to have more of a say in decisions which affect them.

Potential benefits

The proposal suggests a single organisation would provide a number of benefits such as providing a common approach to service delivery for the public, instilling focus and reducing competition between agencies and financial and service efficiencies.

Seen as a long term project, the single public authority proposal would be a starting point for discussions with local partners, the Scottish Government and COSLA, with engagement with the Borders public one of a number of important phases which would need to be completed.

Full report

The full report is available