On May 5 local elections will be held across the UK. In Scotland, 1,228 councillors will be elected across 32 council areas. They will have responsibility for a huge range of local decisions; from bin collections to school budgets, and pest control to business support.
A councillor’s basic pay is £18,604, meaning many of them have second jobs to supplement their income, but should that be the case? The Scottish Government funding to local authorities for 2022/23 is £12.5bn, so should we pay our elected officials more to better reflect the major decisions they have to make? Is the system for local government fit for purpose in 2022?
We are holding two events looking at local government. Firstly on April 12, we’ll hear from those who know the system – former SNP councillor in Glasgow, Rhiannon Spear; Jeremy Balfour MSP, the Scottish Conservatives Deputy Local Government Spokesperson; Dr Meryl Kenny, a Senior Lecturer in Gender and Politics at Edinburgh University; and Willie Sullivan, a Senior Director for Scotland for the Electoral Reform Society.
Once the votes have been cast and the results announced, we are delighted to be speaking to Alison Evison, the former President of COSLA. Alison is standing as an independent candidate in the council elections for the Mearns Ward, Aberdeenshire. She will be speaking to our director, Kezia Dugdale.