Court action threats over council freeze-out

The Scottish Local Government Partnership (SLGP) is threatening to take the Scottish government to court if ministers continue to freeze them out of funding talks.

The SLGP, comprising of Aberdeen, Glasgow, Renfrewshire and South Lanarkshire councils, split from Cosla last year, the body used for government negotiations.

The SLGP has demanded equal recognition, and has issued an ultimatum that if the government refuses to back down, the partnership will take it to court to challenge the decision.

Frank McAveety, leader of Glasgow City Council, said: "The four members of the SLGP generate 47 per cent of our country's economic output which is why the first minister's refusal to negotiate with us simply cannot be allowed to continue.

"The government's talks on the next funding settlement have already begun without us and in these we expect some of the biggest budget cuts ever seen.”

A Scottish government spokesman said: "Scottish ministers will always talk to individual councils on matters that concern them. Indeed, ministers and officials have regular and extensive dialogue with a full range of stakeholders from local government as part of and alongside our formal partnership arrangements with Cosla.

"We will only negotiate on the final settlement with Cosla, the representative body for Scotland's local authorities. However, we have a statutory responsibility to consult all 32 councils on the terms of the local government finance settlement."