Council’s rare chance to grill the Government

Scottish Secretary David Mundell visited North Lanarkshire last week as he tries to build a relationship between the UK Government and local councils.

Scottish Secretary David Mundell (centre) with North Lanarkshire Council chief executive Paul Jukes (left) and leader Jim McCabe.

During his meeting with North Lanarkshire Council chief executive Paul Jukes and leader Jim McCabe at Motherwell Civic Centre a number of matters were discussed including the Scotland Bill which will give the Scottish Government further devolved powers.

Mr Mundell said: “I’ve been meeting every local authority in Scotland as I think it is important the UK Government has a direct relationship with local councils.

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“There is a lot of shared interests that will have a significant impact on local authorities such as The Scotland Bill, Syrian refugees, the City Deal and the steel task force.

“I want to make sure we have a good working relationship and my door is always open to North Lanarkshire Council on any issues we can help with.”

Councillor McCabe was delighted to sit down with Mr Mundell and would like to see it happen more often.

He said: “We don’t get enough opportunity to speak to the Scottish Office and UK Ministers in general, that was only the second time I’d met Mr Mundell and I’d never met any of his predecessors outside social functions for the Labour party.

“If an issue gets to his level he can maybe do something about it, but unless he knows what the problems are how can he deal with them?

“Discovering the problems is one thing, curing them is another, but he said he wants us to write to him with any issues and I’ll certainly be doing that and looking for responses.”