South Lanarkshire Council bracing itself for 2020 budget

So what's the real story behind all the accusations and allegations? South Lanarkshire Council HQ. Photo by John Lord (flickr)
So what's the real story behind all the accusations and allegations? South Lanarkshire Council HQ. Photo by John Lord (flickr)

South Lanarkshire Labour are calling on the community to fight back against cuts to frontline jobs and services as the council unveils plans for £10 million in budget savings in the new financial year.

Proposals to be put before councillors in the New Year include reducing grounds maintenance services, cuts to classrooms, cuts to trading standards and flood protection, ill-defined plans to take £1 million from health and social care services and the introduction of new charges.

For years campaigners, trade unionists and Labour councillors have warned that the Scottish Government have “under-funded” Scotland’s councils.

Labour councillors have vowed to fight back with a ‘frontline first’ alternative to the £10 million savings package that will protect as many frontline jobs as possible and deliver a £10 real living wage for council workers – but what the council can do will always be constrained by the funding settlement it receives from central government.

Leader of South Lanarkshire Labour, Councillor Joe Fagan said: “The chronic under-funding of local services in Scotland is the SNP’s austerity shame. Local services are simply not their priority and year after year councils are hammered in the Scottish Budget.

“If things don’t change then it’s frontline local services and the people who depend on them who will suffer. Cuts to councils are cuts to communities – cuts to classrooms, cuts to grounds maintenance and cuts to social services. It’s time for our communities to fight back against endless, brutal austerity. Make your voice heard at the ballot box and make your views about this cuts package known too.”

A spokesman for the SNP commented: “This is scaremongering of the worst kind. We don’t know who will be in Government in a few weeks’ time, never mind what the financial settlement will be.

“That said, Westminster is in chaos and without a UK Government budget, there is a knock-on impact on our ability to properly plan for the future.

“This is another example of why Scotland should have a choice – to either be part of an inward looking Brexit Britain or decide to become an independent country in Europe.”