Council to remain within Cosla

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Aberdeenshire Council is to remain a member of the local authority umbrella group Cosla.

The commitment was re-affirmed in a debate at the full council meeting last Thursday

Cosla is the national collective voice for local government in Scotland, communicating and negotiating with the Scottish Government on behalf of 32 councils.

Recently, eight councils have given notice to quit the organisation following dissatisfaction about the nature of decision-making and the balance of power between the leaders’ group, which meets monthly, and the convention, which gathers quarterly.

Speaking after the meeting, council leader Councillor Jim Gifford said: “Many councils are concerned about a recent decision made by Cosla leaders not to endorse the recommendations of a joint Scottish Government/Cosla working group, to update the funding formula to reflect the most recently available data of needs.

“This change would have benefitted the majority of councils, including Aberdeenshire, which would have received an estimated additional £5.9 million per annum.

“Whilst we’re not happy with this decision, leaving Cosla is unlikely to reverse it. We have a far stronger voice if we are at the table, influencing the future direction of local government.

“Local government is well served by Cosla through the positive working relationship it has built up with the Scottish Government and I am firmly of the view that Aberdeenshire Council is best represented through the collective voice of Cosla.”