Building a Better Scotland
FINANCE AND PUBLIC SERVICES
To improve the delivery of public services and promote local democracy
We will improve the delivery of public services for the benefit of those who use them. We will provide leadership and support for local leaders and managers, and will work with them in the drive for reform and modernisation. We will improve the means by which local authorities, health bodies, non-departmental public bodies and others are financed. Through the effective operation of the European Structural Funds we will support the efforts of public and private bodies to create jobs in disadvantaged areas and improve access to jobs across Scotland.
Over the next three years we will invest more resources in improving local services: we will allocate a further 188/531/827 million to local authorities to enable them to deliver the improvements in education, community care, transport and quality of life set out in this document. We will introduce further reforms to let local leaders lead; and provide direct encouragement and support for innovation and improvement in public services. Our objectives for this Spending Review period are set out below.
This is a forward-looking agenda of investment and reform. We are providing the resources and framework to enable local authorities and other key agencies to invest for the long term and ensure continuous improvement in service delivery and governance.
OBJECTIVES AND TARGETS
To secure, with local government, improvement in local authority services
By April 2004, have in place a new framework for monitoring the delivery of local services through Best Value, to ensure all councils are delivering sustained improvements across their service responsibilities.
By December 2003, establish with local government a new public service improvement function to help local authorities share best practice and increase joint working to deliver service improvements.
Provide local authorities with the stability of three year grant allocations and resources to support existing services and new priority policy initiatives.
Establish by 2004-05 a new framework for local authority capital investment, supporting better investment decisions, long-term planning and increased levels of investment in local infrastructure.
To secure further progress on the modernisation of local governance
By 2006, to have secured a statutory basis for Community Planning and a Power of Well-being, issued accompanying guidance and developed best practice in both and taken appropriate action on renewing local democracy.
To secure better public service delivery, including access to information, through a citizen-focused approach
Get all Government services which can feasibly be delivered electronically online by 2005.
By 2006, develop a Scottish electronic citizen card available to all citizens, which will give them faster and more convenient access to public information and services.
Ensure services are available through broadband technology in the pathfinder areas of South of Scotland and Highlands and Islands by 2004.
To equip unemployed people with the skills to secure a job, re-skill the existing workforce or improve the skills base of particular geographic areas through European Structural Funds
By 2006, have awarded project grants to train 38,000 unemployed beneficiaries for employment 12 months after training, and to generate 112,000 qualifications by 2008.
By 2006, have awarded project grants to assist 28,000 socially excluded people into employment by 2009.
To encourage economic development through the European Structural Funds in areas suffering from industrial decline, rural or urban problems, and areas experiencing difficulty arising from pressure on the fisheries sector
By 2006, have awarded project grants to assist 23,000 existing businesses by 2008.
By 2006, have awarded project grants to create 83,000 net jobs by 2009.
What we will do
In order to modernise governance and improve public service delivery in Scotland, we will:
- build a strong partnership with local authorities to establish joint priorities for improving services;
- increase revenue grant for local authorities by 188/531/827 million over the next three years - securing visible improvements in quality of life, further modernisation of the teaching profession, free personal and nursing care, additional investment in the police and fire services, age equalisation for reduced travel fares, and protecting the services already being provided;
- invest 45 million over the next three years in encouraging services which focus more on the needs of the citizen - securing a multi-functional citizen's smartcard, providing easy access to public information and services;
- invest in upgrading broadband telecommunications for health, schools and local authority services in the two pathfinder areas of the South of Scotland and Highlands and Islands, giving citizens in rural areas better access to information and services;
- establish a pool of external experts from the private and public sectors to help explore fresh approaches to improving services across the public sector;
- reform the control of local authority capital investment, allowing local authorities to increase investment if they can afford it - enabling them to improve services, invest in the future and build new schools and improve local roads;
- legislate to give local authorities a statutory duty of continuous improvement and put in place new performance reporting and audit arrangements - enabling everyone to monitor how their council is performing and how services are improving;
- give local authorities a new power to pursue the well-being of their area and impose a duty of Community Planning on key local partners to work together with their communities to improve services; and
- establish a new public service improvement function to provide support for authorities with information, advice, support and training in order to improve service delivery.
Quality of Life
We are determined to improve the quality of life of the people of Scotland. As part of this Spending Review we are allocating an additional 180 million over three years to local authorities to bring about real improvements in the quality of people's everyday lives. Local authorities will be able to use this money to make the streets safer and cleaner, to manage parks and open spaces for everyone's benefit and to improve services which matter to everyone. It will enable them to take more effective action to tackle vandalism, graffiti and dog fouling. It will help local leaders to respond to local concerns and take the initiative to improve the environment in which people go about their daily lives.
Committees, Commissions and Other Expenditure
Total Local Government Public Services
Public Sector Reform 3
Modernising Government Fund
European Structural Funds
Central Government Expenditure
Central Government Support to Local Authorities
Scottish Public Pensions Agency
1. The Local Government Revenue Baseline for 2002-03 and 2003-04 includes transfers to/from relevant portfolio chapters of -25/+30.9 million and various grants from other government departments to allow the numbers to be presented on a consistent basis over the period.
2. Local Government Capital baselines for 2002-03 and 2003-04 exclude 50/60 million of Public Transport Fund and 45/50 million of Non-Housing Revenue Account funding which is included in the transport and social justice tables respectively.
3. Resources earmarked to enable the Executive to respond to opportunities to secure step changes in improved delivery of public services.