South Lanarkshire Labour and the national ‘umbrella’ body for councils, Cosla, claim Scottish Government spending plans will mean another round of cuts for local council services, despite SNP claims that council budgets are rising.
Cosla has warned that, after accounting for ring-fencing and restrictions on spending, the Scottish Budget will cut core revenue funding for councils by £237 million. “That means less money for councils to spend on people’s jobs and services.” claimed a Labour spokesman this week.
He went on: “The warnings come as South Lanarkshire Council faces an £18 million financial black hole – and proposals put on the table to plug the gap include cuts to essential services like grounds maintenance, anti-social behaviour wardens and schools.
Councillor Joe Fagan, South Lanarkshire Labour Leader, said:“The SNP have to be honest about what their Budget means in practice – and, in its current form, this Budget means more austerity will be heaped onto local services.
“Council budgets, squeezed for years, will be squeezed again. As Cosla has made clear, far from delivering a boost to local government, this Budget will see core revenue funding for councils fall by £237 million. That means discretionary spending on jobs and services will be slashed. Labour councillors will do everything we can to protect services and scrutinise the savings put before us – but we’ll also speak out when our council is getting a raw deal.”