Anne McTaggart MSP stated that the Scottish Government should know that reforming the public sector simply in the interest of saving money would have an impact on the quality of public services the Scottish people receive.
Ms McTaggart spoke in the Scottish Government debate on Public Sector Reform in the chamber this month.
Anne McTaggart MSP said: “Whilst this may be an unavoidable reality for local authorities across Scotland, pursuing reform on the basis of cost savings alone is not a route to delivering high quality public services and will lead to compromised decision making that fails to put communities at the heart of the process.
Community involvement in the delivery of their own public services is vital, and I believe represents a cooperative model of decision making which should be replicated across Scotland’s 32 local authority areas. Those most affected by changes to service delivery should be at the heart of discussions about its reform, and this approach will lead to a better informed model of decision making with the priority of service users at its heart.”
Anne stated that community planning partnerships have proven to be an invaluable resource for local authorities in the development of public services, and often highlight the key challenges that are likely to be faced over periods of restructuring and re-evaluation of current working practices.
However, she also pointed out that too often representatives on community planning partnerships illustrate only one perspective of the service they represent, and it is crucial “that we open up the policy making process to include a broader representation of our communities, in particular those who rely on services that are all too often the first to be cut by local authorities exhausted by efficiencies and unable to absorb further funding constraints without reducing service provision.”