Headlines: October 13th, 2008

Local authorities in Scotland are pressing the Chancellor of the Exchequer to involve them in discussions about council investments in failed Icelandic banks. The Confederation of Scottish Local Authorities is also calling for a three-sided meeting between councils and the English and Scottish governments.

COSLA said it was determined to be represented equally alongside councils from England and Wales at all discussions with the Treasury to find a solution to the problems caused by Icelandic banking crisis. The Confederation has written to Alistair Darling and its President, Pat Waters, said, “We will also be seeking reassurance that the treatment of Scottish local government will be no different to that in the rest of the UK.”

Mr. Watters said COSLA was also asking John Swinney, the Scottish Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth, to ensure local authorities were kept fully informed of any discussions between Governments and that they were included in any talks where the position of Scottish local government was being discussed.

“Thirdly, we are seeking a tri-partite meeting between the UK Government, the Scottish Government and local government to ensure that we deal quickly and effectively with what is a fast changing situation. We want to avoid uncertainty for the communities which Scottish local government services,” Mr. Waters added.

Seven councils in Scotland have a total of more that 75 million pounds invested with failed banks in Iceland.