Elections a ‘costly shambles’. says MSP

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The SNP Government is to abandon its idea of directly elected health boards following a pilot scheme in Dumfries and galloway and Fife.

Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson and South Scotland MSP Jim Hume MSP said the idea had been flawed from day one.

He said: “This has been a costly shambles. Despite widespread concern, SNP ministers spent £773,000 on two pilots for directly elected health boards before performing a u-turn and abandoning the plans entirely.

“Scottish Liberal Democrats have always questioned the effectiveness of direct health board elections. With this wasteful venture now abandoned, SNP ministers must get on with looking at more reasonable ways to improve the accountability of health boards, including using greater input from already-elected councillors.”

The pilots allowed 16 and 17-year-olds to vote for the first time but the overall turnout was low, with fewer than one in five voting in Dumfries and Galloway, and one in 10 in Fife.