Scottish Secretary calls for more powers for Argyll and Bute

David Mundell, the Secretary of State for Scotland.
David Mundell, the Secretary of State for Scotland.

Scottish Secretary David Mundell has called for a debate on what new powers historic burghs lin Argyll and Bute should be given by Holyrood in order to take greater control over their own affairs.

Scottish Secretary David Mundell has called for a debate on what new powers historic burghs lin Argyll and Bute should be given by Holyrood in order to take greater control over their own affairs.

In a keynote speech on devolution, Mr Mundell, the only Conservative MP representing a Scottish constituency, said that councils such as Argyll and Bute need to make their voice heard with the Scottish Government and make the case for greater powers.

“The issue of devolution to local communities is now an urgent one for Scotland,” Mr Mundell said.

“There is a revolution going on in local government across the rest of the United Kingdom, with local areas regaining power and responsibility at an unprecedented rate.

“Scotland cannot afford to be left behind as the rest of the UK revolutionises how it governs itself, giving towns, cities and counties more of the autonomy which our international competitors enjoy. It’s time we had a proper debate about devolution within Scotland.

“And it should be a real debate - because one size does not fit all. What is the right path for our big cities will not necessarily be right route for our villages and towns to take.

“People in places like Oban, Lochgilphead and Campbeltown should join the debate. Scotland is fortunate to have a strong network of community councils, often based around historic settlements in which people feel real pride.

“Why don’t they take on more of a role? If Argyll and Bute was in Norway, instead of having one council it would have between six and ten highly empowered local governments.

“Councils like Argyll and Bute need to make their voices heard and tell the Scottish Government what powers and responsibilities they want to have to shape their futures.

“That should be a national debate. Devolution is not worthy of the name if it stops at the gates of Holyrood.”