Claim council has missed out on payment

A lump sum was allocated to help to cover the cost of weather maintenance.
A lump sum was allocated to help to cover the cost of weather maintenance.

South Lanarkshire Council is among a number of local authorities believed to have lost out as a result of a Scottish Government decision not to make awards through the Bellwin Scheme.

The scheme allows councils to claim against a central fund to cover the costs of adverse weather, but the council has said that instead of it being triggered, there was an allocation of £10 million divided among all 32 local authorities.

Concerns that South Lanarkshire Council would have received a more generous award if the Bellwin Scheme had been triggered have been repeatedly expressed at committee meetings in recent weeks. A local government request for the sum to be increased was also rejected by Finance Secretary Derek Mackay.

Controversy over Bellwin funding comes as researchers from the independent Scottish Parliament Information Centre revealed there have been cuts of more than £700 million to the local government revenue settlement in Scotland since 2013/14, with COSLA warning that councils have been left with “no room to manoeuvre.

Councillor Joe Fagan, South Lanarkshire Labour Group leader, said: “South Lanarkshire Council is still bearing the costs of a long, cold winter in which conditions took their toll on our road network. There is cross-party concern about the cost of road repairs brought on by the bad winter, especially given that budgets were so tight to begin with.

“A reasonable request for additional resources was rejected flat-out by the SNP Government and frankly our council has been short-changed yet again. The SNP Government has consistently under-funded Scotland’s councils. It has slashed hundreds of millions of pounds from budgets, stretched public services to the limit and now, on top of all that, South Lanarkshire is losing out on spending that could be going into fixing our roads.”