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OIC leader exits COSLA over budget dispute

The leader of Orkney Islands Council (OIC) has stepped down from his position in the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) amid a dispute over the budgetary settlement from the Scottish Government.

Councillor James Stockan claims that Orkney is still due to receive to receive “the poorest” budget settlement nationwide, despite the recent announcement of an increase from the Government.

Explaining his decision, Councillor Stockan said that he was “deeply disappointed” with the support given to Orkney, after doing “more than ever” to try and secure a better deal.

COSLA is a councillor-led organisation which aims to champion councils’ work to secure the resources and powers they need.

They work on councils’ behalf to engage with governments and other organisation on policy and funding matters.

Councillor Stockan was the leader of the Independent group of councillors at COSLA, and was OIC representative on the COSLA Leaders group of 32 local authority leaders.

He was also one of three OIC representatives at the larger COSLA convention.

Following criticism from local authorities across Scotland, it was announced by the Scottish Government this Thursday that an additional ÂŁ120 million will be allocated nationwide.

However, Councillor Stockan claims that, whatever way this is allocated, it will result in an unfair deal for Orkney.

He has been pressing COSLA to improve Orkney’s position, trying to change the formulae it uses to determine budget allocations which he thinks is unfair to the community.

He said: “I’m deeply disappointed when we have engaged so intensely — more than ever before — to try and get a good resolution and in fact we are getting the poorest settlement in Scotland. It just is not good enough.”

The Orcadian has contacted the Scottish Government for comment.