Cosla president and chief executive resign

The president of the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities
has joined the chief executive in resigning following a troubled
period for the organisation.

Over the past year Cosla has suffered setbacks with the
resignation of three member councils and financial difficulties.
Glasgow, Clackmannanshire and Falkirk councils all resigned earlier
this year unhappy that Cosla had failed to speak up strongly enough
in negotiations with the Scottish executive, and having to pay
increased membership fees.

Oonagh Aitken, the first female chief executive of Cosla, was
appointed in July 1999. Cosla president Norman Murray was appointed
more than two years ago. Both have been heavily involved in the
conflict and a fundamental review of Cosla’s role and

Councillor Murray described the review as “more or less complete
with most of the recommendations now in place”, and said he was
leaving because the time was right. Murray paid tribute to the work
of Aitken who is described in a formal statement as leaving to
pursue “other interests”.

A special meeting of Cosla will be convened in October to
appoint a new president, while the chief executive’s post
will be advertised.

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