COSLA Elected Members’ Briefing 30.9.20

Key messages

Pre-budget lobbying

COSLA is working on a lobbying strategy to ensure that a strong, positive and complementary campaign can be developed for pre-budget lobbying, building on last year’s ‘Essential Services’ campaign and on the new ‘Essential Everyday’ hashtag that was developed for the Blueprint for Local Government. The campaign will focus on the need for financial stability, if Local Government’s role in community wellbeing is to be maximised, and will highlight the essential role which Local Government has played in supporting communities through the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Leaders have agreed a series of actions to take forward the lobbying strategy, on the basis that there will be a Scottish Draft Budget introduced in the Scottish Parliament in December.  The timescale is however to be confirmed and may be impacted by the UK Government’s recent decision to cancel its Autumn Budget. 

The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport has announced £1.1bn for NHS Boards and HSCPs. This includes the £83m already received for local authority delegated services. This means that of the £1.1bn, £245m is allocated to HSCPs. From this, there will be an additional circa £67m for local authority delegated services and circa £95m for health delegated services over and above the £83m already received.

COSLA said this week that despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the high level of commitment and action shown by Local Government has ensured that our children and young people continue to get the most from their lives in extremely difficult circumstances. COSLA also said that it fully recognised just how difficult a situation this had been for our young people.

The COSLA Blueprint for Local Government commits to working to identify the opportunities to make sure children and young people get the very best education and wider learning and support that can be offered with a clear focus on tackling poverty and inequality.

COSLA Children and Young People Spokesperson Councillor Stephen McCabe said: “Our Blueprint has a focus on child well-being and Getting it Right for Every Child, closing the education attainment gap and effective digital connectivity to support learning especially for the most disadvantaged children and young people.

“It also recognises that whilst the pandemic has shown the resilience of both families and communities, there is little doubt that there will be greater levels of demand for the core services that Local Government provides moving forward. Social work, family support, services for looked after children and child protection are just a few examples of the services that need to be supported and resourced to ensure they are able to cope with demand.”

The full release can be read here.

Public Health Scotland launched its first Strategic Plan: Together We Can this week.
It represents a significant milestone in terms of setting PHS’s direction for the next three years.

Supporting Scotland’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the wider social recovery, remains at the forefront of Public Health Scotland’s work.

The Strategic Plan also outlines how PHS will focus on key areas that make the biggest difference to the public’s health, such as mental wellbeing, communities and place, and poverty and children.

COSLA, together with the Scottish Government, is a sponsor of PHS and two Local Government/COSLA representatives are non-executives on the PHS Board – Councillor Jacqueline Cameron and Councillor Julie Bell.

The latest edition of the Trading Standards Scam Share bulletin  outlines scams which have been reported by consumers across Scotland, including those related to the COVID-19 outbreak.

There is some very useful information for local communities, covering issues such as Test and Protect scams and more.

Trading Standards Scotland is the national team for trading standards in Scotland and is part of COSLA.

Read the full COSLA Elected Member’s Briefing here.