Calls for East Dunbartonshire and West Dunbartonshire councils to merge.

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AN independent think tank has proposed creating a single council area combining East and West Dunbartonshire - in a bid to revitalise and simplify local government.

The recently-published Reform Scotland report suggests reducing the number of local authorities from 32 to 19, citing poor turnouts in the recent council elections and a “crisis” in local government.

The policy group also believe that councils should be given more powers to control local health and police services.

Ben Thomson, Reform Scotland chairman, said: “It is certainly the case that there is too much confusion caused by the inconsistent number of councils, police boards and health boards.

“By making these boundaries the same and making local authorities more responsible for these essential services, we will take a big step in the right direction.”

Both the Scottish Government and COSLA have distanced themselves from the findings.

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