Letter: Small change

This week a bill establishing a new national body to be called "Children's Hearings Scotland" (CHS) will be passed (your report, 26 November).

Apart from some welcome changes in legislation, which could have been brought about using secondary legislative powers and other routes, it is doubtful whether this fundamental change to the current system will achieve meaningful improvements to child protection in Scotland.

It appears that it has been more about reducing the number of quangos in Scotland and removing influence and local responsibility from local communities as well as councils.

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For the cost of setting up a new quango (CHS), Scottish ministers will soon use the disbanding of 32 local authority-based (although not controlled) children's panels and a similar number of advisory committees, as progress in the "bonfire of quangos" promise made by this and previous Scottish administrations.

I agree there has to be change, but not for change's sake or for political expedience. I foresee that a couple of years down the line those involved will look back and say: "Change? It all looks very much the same to me."

Bob Bertram

Main Street

Pathhead, Midlothian