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02.06.14

Breakaway councils to spell out post-Cosla ‘vision’

Glasgow is to spell out its vision for a breakaway organisation for the Scottish councils that have quit Cosla, the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities.

Glasgow, Aberdeen and South Lanarkshire have totally disengaged from Cosla, with five other councils having issued notices to quit.

The eight councils have been told they would have to pay a combined £3.5m to cover their legal obligations, though Glasgow has already said “no payment will be forthcoming”, according to The Herald newspaper.

But East Renfrewshire's council leader Jim Fletcher said: "I don't support the councils that are leaving. With 16 Labour leaders, we had control of Cosla and, with the resignations, we've given it away. It's not a particularly clever thing to have done.”

The councils that have quit question Cosla’s effectiveness, governance and the distribution of funding.

Glasgow chief executive George Black said in a letter to Cosla: “I believe that you were premature in presenting your assessment of the financial position and that you have misled the convention with this advice. It would be prudent for you to assume that at this stage no payment will be forthcoming from Glasgow.”

Cosla’s Rory Mair responded: “A necessary first step would be for you to set out your interpretation of the constitution and your own calculation of Glasgow's liabilities. If your legal advisers would like to discuss these issues with COSLA's advisers I would be happy to make arrangements.”

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