The decision to decouple the Scottish local government elections from the Scottish Parliament elections is a matter for the Scottish Executive. In his statement to the House on 23 October, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland indicated he would welcome such a decision.
Neither the 2007 elections steering group nor its legislation sub-group were established by the Scotland Office. The elections steering group was chaired by the Scottish Executive. The steering group's legislation sub-group was chaired by the Scottish Executive when the local government legislation was under discussion and the Scotland Office when the Scottish Parliament legislation was under discussion. The sub-group was consulted directly on the proposed ballot paper for the Scottish Parliament election at a meeting of the sub-group on 10 August 2006.