[i] Challenges identified through the COVID Recovery Strategy were:
- Number of Competing Priorities
- Reporting Requirements
- Collaborative Working across Scottish Government
- Crisis Response to “Hot Topics”/World Events
- Data & Intelligence Sharing
- Funding Flexibility
- Resources (including inconsistencies of resource support from national partners across CPP areas)
[ii] Established in 2021 as part of the Local Government Engagement Plan, the Strategic Review Group’s (SRG) main purpose is to facilitate regular strategic level political engagement, led on behalf the Scottish Government by the Cabinet Secretary with overall responsibility for the Local Government relationship (and extended to other Cabinet Secretaries and Ministers where relevant) and COSLA senior politicians.
The SRG provides a regular forum to agree delivery priorities, outcomes to be achieved and acts as a mechanism to resolve issues and barriers. The SRG meets five times each year to set direction and priorities and aims to align decision making processes with those that are required by the internal governance arrangements within COSLA, ensuring that key decisions are planned in partnership with built in opportunity and processes to address unforeseen issues or areas of disagreement. The outputs of SRG, which should be agreed at the end of each meeting, assist the Cabinet Secretary to develop a wide overview of the interests of Local Government and represent these in Cabinet discussions.
In May 2023 the membership of the SRG is as follows:
Scottish Government : Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Finance ; Minister for Local Government Empowerment and Planning.
Local Government : COSLA President and COSLA Vice President.
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