5 Feb 2016

Cuts to services

I was Leader of Renfrewshire Council when it was set up and we had to deal directly with a Tory Government for our money. It was hard and the cuts were difficult. But it was nothing like the cuts the Council is having to face from the SNP Government in Edinburgh. Sure, the Scottish Government budget is being squeezed by Westminster. But the cut being handed to councils by Nicola Sturgeon and John Swinney is way in excess of what the Scottish Government’s own departments are facing. All over Scotland Councils are complaining at a huge late cut, on top of what had previously been announced. In Renfrewshire, the extra cut is £6.5 million. That means the improvements Renfrewshire wants to make to care services will be squeezed. Those who lose out will be the elderly, the disabled and the vulnerable. Classroom budgets will be hit and no doubt there will be further delays in filling in the potholes on our roads. It’s easy to moan about the Council and point the finger of blame at councillors. But if John Swinney and the SNP Government won’t give councils a fair deal, then we’ll all have to put up with poorer services.