The Accounts Commission has agreed to remove local authority economic development from its 2020/21 work plan following evidence of extensive joint working between local government and the Improvement Service to understand the challenges and drive improvement in this area.
A paper summarising work by the IS-SLAED (Scottish Local Authorities Economic Development Group) partnership was considered by the commission’s Performance Audit Committee. It showed how the partnership, which dates back to 2011, has consistently worked to improve local authority economic development and articulate its contribution to the Scottish economy through the Economic Development Improvement Guide, SLAED Indicators Framework, the Economic Outcomes Programme (in partnership with SOLACE and others), regional economy work (in partnership with COSLA and SOLACE) and the new SLAED Strategic Plan. In 2019, the IS and SLAED made a successful joint proposal to the Scottish Government to host the role of Employability Partnership Manager this work presents a major opportunity to establish a very different way of re-designing employability and related support across Scotland.
The immediate focus is the responses to and planning for economic fallout arising from COVID-19 and the IS has committed to continued working with SLAED, SOLACE and COSLA on this issue.