Publicly funded bodies ‘resisting changes’

Publicly funded bodies are resisting changes intended to improve services, according to a report by MSPs.

The study was done by the Scottish Parliament's Local Government and Regeneration Committee. Picture: Jayne Emsley

Reforms are not happening at the expected rate, changes are patchy across Scotland and “deep seated” attitudes are hindering progress, Holyrood’s Local Government and Regeneration Committee found.

Kevin Stewart, convener of the committee, said: “During the course of our inquiry, we have seen examples of different public services working together, working with the community and working to achieve change.

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“However, these examples are rare and far outweighed by those who are resistant to making change and resistant to working together to bring real change into the hearts of communities across Scotland. There is a big gap between rhetoric and reality.”


Specific criticism was aimed at Community Planning Partnerships, which are supposed to offer a link to the public sector.

“There is a lack of leadership and poor communications and many are disconnected from the people they serve,” Mr Stewart said.

The committee concluded that finances often get in the way of reform.

Staff attitude to risk is also a problem, MSPs said in their report on the investigation.

“Put simply, too many of those engaged in public services reform are risk averse,” the report stated.

The committee looked at the issue in light of the Scottish Government’s Commission on the Future Delivery of Public Services, chaired by Campbell Christie.

“Our general conclusions echo the consensus of our many witnesses that the speed, scale and nature of the response to the Christie Commission is not adequate,” the report found.