PM backs 'local' devolution push
Devolution "should not stop at Holyrood" but continue to Scottish local government, David Cameron has said.
The Prime Minister said the Conservatives had "kept our promises" to Scotland over devolution, but it was time that more power was handed to local authorities on issues like housing, schools and planning.
Mr Cameron was speaking as he travelled north of the border to join the Tory campaign ahead of the council elections, which take place in two weeks' time. His visit came the day after MSPs unanimously backed the Scotland Bill, legislation put forward by the UK Government which will increase Holyrood's powers.
The Bill, which is expected to complete its passage through Westminster next week, will see Scotland gain borrowing powers, along with new powers over income tax.
But Mr Cameron said that, as well as transferring more powers to Scotland, he also wanted to see more powers handed down to local communities. He said it was the Conservatives who could deliver on this "real devolution".
Speaking on a visit to Robert Wiseman Dairies in Bellshill, North Lanarkshire, Mr Cameron said: "What the Conservatives have done is keep our promises. We promised to devolve power to Scotland, and yesterday, with the Scottish Parliament accepting the Scotland Bill, that's happening.
"A massive act of devolution from the Westminster Parliament to the Scottish Parliament delivered by this coalition and Conservative Government. So that is a big act. But now what we want to see is devolution within Scotland. Devolution shouldn't stop at Holyrood and Scottish ministers.
"I want to see, Ruth Davidson wants to see, powers go out to Scottish local government - to Scottish local people - so people have more power over housing, over planning, over schools, to make sure we get the increases in quality and value for money that Conservatives believe in."
The Tories are currently the fourth party of local government in Scotland, with the Scottish National Party, Labour and the Liberal Democrats all having more councillors north of the border. Ms Davidson, the new Scottish Tory leader, has already said she wants the Conservatives to be the third party of local government after the May 3 election.
Mr Cameron said: "The public need to know that the Westminster Government, the United Kingdom Government, is dealing with our debt, dealing with our deficit, making sure we can pay our bills, keeping our credit rating and keeping interest rates low."