Centre for Public Policy for Regions

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Contents

Introduction

The Centre for Public Policy for Regions (CPPR) is a 'a major research initiative being jointly pursued by the Universities of Glasgow and Strathclyde. It looks at the role of public policy in promoting economic and social development in Scotland and beyond. The purpose of the CPPR is to produce 'Quality research for better public policies' and to develop a dialogue with government, communities and the private sector. To this end it publishes research papers and hold seminars and policy briefings on the key economic and social challenges facing Scotland and other regions' [1].

Scottish Budget Analysis

A key role played by the CPPR is in providing economic analysis of Scottish Governments budgets. CPPR economic consultants Richard Harris, Jo Armstrong and John Mclaren have published various papers discussing their interpretations of the financial plight facing the Scottish Government. They have been forthright in their proclamations: Scottish Government spending will have to be reduced significantly. Moreover, these cuts, according to the CPPR, will need to be introduced almost immediately.

A press release from December 2009 indicates their concerns.

In it they state, 'The prospects for Scotland’s Budget remain grim. Overall, the Scottish Government now faces unprecedented change in relation to its budgetary future. Such a future may therefore require previously unprecedented changes in policy thinking and funding arrangements in order to steer a way through that limits the impact on the provision of public services' [2].

CPPR and Scottish Water

In August 2009 the CPPR published THE SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT’S BUDGET GROWTH PROSPECTS AND BUDGET OPTIONS. Commissioned by Solace and CIPFA Directors of Finance it was written by Jo Armstrong and John Mclaren. In it they effectively considered potential 'unprecedented changes in policy thinking and funding arrangements'. Or, put another way, what cuts and savings the Scottish Government may consider administering in order to redress the funding shortfall they face.


The August 2009 report specifies two areas for savings. In Education they argue spending efficiencies could be made. They also target savings from Scottish Water. Stating how the Scottish Government will loan Scottish Water 'around £545 million for the 3 years 2008-09 to 2010-11'. They continue, 'The Scottish Government receives no Barnett funding from an equivalent budget line in England for this, as water services are delivered outside the public sector in England and Wales. Removing Scottish Ministers as Scottish Water’s owner would allow it to have access to private sector funding and in doing so free up scarce public funding for use elsewhere' [3].


They did not stipulate what the potential changed model - out with public ownership and control - would look like in the August report. However, in November 2008, Jo Armstrong, John Mclaren and Richard Harris, wrote another paper reviewing the pressures on the 2008 Scottish Budget affecting the years until 2011 [4]. In the paper they wrote how..."Given the tightness of the current budget from which to find funds that might help counter the negative impacts of the growing recession, what alternatives sources exist?" Once again they suggested to consider changing the ownership model of Scottish Water. This time Jo Armstrong and John Mclaren did not call for Privatisation, as they did for the Scotland on Sunday Think Tank of the 'finest minds' in Scotland [5]. Rather they said the Howatt Report otherwise known as The Scottish Government (2006), Choices for a Purpose: Review of Scottish Executive Budgets: Report of the Budget Review Group "could be revisited and some of the bolder issues discussed therein reconsidered e.g. mutualisation of Scottish Water (possibly releasing around £180 million per annum)" [6].

People

Who we are

CPPR members


  • Professor Philip Beaumont, Professor, Business & Management, University of Glasgow


  • Dr Kean Birch, Research Fellow, CPPR, University of Glasgow


  • Professor Noreen Burrows, Dean of the Faculty of Law, Business and Social Sciences


  • Dr Andy Cumbers Senior Lecturer, Department of Geography, University of Glasgow


  • Professor Julia Darby Professor, Department of Economics, University of Strathclyde


  • Professor Bernard Fingleton Department of Economics, University of Strathclyde


  • Professor Kenneth Gibb Head of Department of Urban Studies, University of Glasgow



  • Professor Alan McGregor Director, Training & Employment Research Unit, University of Glasgow


  • Professor Peter McGregor Head of Department, Department of Economics, University of Strathclyde


  • Mr John Mclaren Honorary Research Fellow, Department of Urban Studies, University of Glasgow


  • Dr John Sutherland Honorary Research Fellow, CPPR, Unversity of Glasgow



  • Dr Katherine Trebeck Honorary Research Fellow, Department of Economics, University of Glasgow Research Executive, The Wise Group, Glasgow


  • Professor Ivan Turok Professor of Urban Economic Development, Department of Urban Studies, University of Glasgow


CPPR Associates

  • Professor Jim Gallagher, Visiting Professor of Government, School of Law, University of Glasgow


CPPR Advisory Board

References

  1. Centre for Public Policy for Regions Accessed 1st January 2010
  2. CPPR - Briefing Note POST ‘PRE-BUDGET REPORT 2009 UPDATE OF – THE SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT’S BUDGET PROJECTIONS UPTO 2013-14(17th December 2009)
  3. THE SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT’S BUDGET GROWTH PROSPECTS AND BUDGET OPTIONS (August 2009) (p9)
  4. Armstrong, Mclaren and Harris, Centre for Public Policy for Regions THE SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT’S 2008 BUDGET - UPDATE, A Briefing (November 2008), Accessed 11 December 2008
  5. Les Snowdon, Scotland on Sunday, 'Think Tank: We asked the finest minds in Scotland for big ideas to transform the nation... this is the result', (April 1st 2007),
  6. Armstrong, Mclaren and Harris, Centre for Public Policy for Regions THE SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT’S 2008 BUDGET - UPDATE, A Briefing (November 2008), Accessed 11 December 2008
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