WHEN the new electoral system for Scotland's councils was devised, many hoped it would bring a new generation of young minds to local government.The professor is correct. The Provost (or his Deputy) is the senior figurehead of the community. The role is quite different from, say, that of a young Richard Branson type of entrepreneur. In almost all companies, the Chairman (equivalent to the Provost) is older and has more experience than the managing director. His function is to warn and to advise as well as to carry out the ceremonial aspects of the job. An 18-year-old can't possibly perform that role properly.
And today in Aberdeen that prediction will come true with the appointment of four councillors under 26 to key posts - including an 18-year-old as Deputy Provost.
... Prof Richard Kerley, a vice-principal at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh and local government expert, said: "I have grave doubts that someone as young as Mr West will enjoy being a councillor, let alone be able to make a contribution.
The interesting question to me is why do appointments of this sort happen now and again in government but rarely in the private sector? The answer is simple. Private companies spend the shareholders' own money and managers are judged by the bottom line. Politicians spend other people's money and are judged by folk who in many cases don't make any financial contribution to the common pot.
That's why it's important to ensure that as little as possible gets done by the state and as much as possible by the voluntary sector.