This briefing looks at the ‘Verity House Agreement’, announced by First Minister Humza Yousaf and COSLA President Councillor Shona Morrison at COSLA’s Verity House office in Edinburgh on 30 June.
Described by the Scottish Government as a ‘New Deal with Local Government’, it sets out their “vision for a more collaborative approach” to delivering shared priorities.
The VHA promises to conclude a Fiscal Framework between the Scottish Government and Local Government by September 2023.
This will govern how council funding is allocated, with welcome commitments to reducing ring fencing and giving councils more control over their budgets. However, it does not promise the increased investment that UNISON believes is essential after many years of serious under funding.
UNISON’s response to the VHA announcement noted that the local government workforce requires stability and adequate resourcing, including additional investment, to deliver the quality services our communities need.
We will wait to see if either are forthcoming. Noticeably the document makes no mention of working with trade union representatives in the delivery of these objectives or the review of the implementation of this deal.