THE idea of a super-council, proposed by a university study down south, has been slammed by Argyll and Bute Council's leader.

The document, produced by the University of Sheffield, backs the Helensburgh and Lomond area becoming part of a 'Greater Glasgow' council with other current areas near the city.

Under the plans, it would become Britain's largest local authority, and is part of an idea to reduce the number of local councils in Scotland from 32 to 17.

But Councillor Aileen Morton stated that the proposals of the study, by Ruth Hamilton and Alistair Rae, are not what she expects to see.

She said: "The Scottish Government’s review of local governance is still out for consultation and anyone who wishes to can respond.

"The University of Sheffield proposals are not what I would expect to see happen as it would be a step back from local empowerment, with the Greater Glasgow area becoming the largest local authority in the UK covering well over one million people.

"Local authorities already work together where they can to produce efficiencies and create best practice across areas like education and roads maintenance so it’s not clear what benefit the Sheffield proposals would really bring."

Jonathan McColl, the leader of neighbouring West Dunbartonshire Council, was equally critical of the idea.

He said: “As a small local authority, West Dunbartonshire is well placed to respond to the needs of individuals in our communities.

“Closer working and shared services between councils will provide better efficiency without the need to damage local flexibility or to erode democratic accountability through the creation of huge regions.”

Renfrewshire Councillor Kenny MacLaren has also rejected the idea, saying: "The recommendations of this study would harm local government in Scotland and would leave Renfrewshire with poorer democratic accountability.

“They go against the European norm of smaller, more responsive and powerful local government."

The study itself says: " Greater Glasgow has the lowest cluster density, which may be indicative of the fact that jobs are focused on several large sites within the region, including Glasgow city centre and Glasgow International Airport.

" In the case of the current Glasgow City area, there is an eight-fold increase in the geographic area between the council area and the new combo region and close to a doubling of population, from 615,000 for Glasgow City to 1.17 million for Greater Glasgow."