Monday, January 29, 2018

Labour call on SNP to put the council cuts knife away for budget

Martin Rooney, Dumbarton council headquarters and SNP leader Ronnie McColl.

Labour has called on SNP-run West Dunbartonshire Council to deliver a no-cuts budget in March to protect jobs and frontline services in Dumbarton, Vale of Leven and Clydebank.

Leader of the Opposition, Cllr Martin Rooney, told a public meeting organised by the Joint Trade Unions on Thursday that Labour councillors would use cash reserves to fill the hole left by the SNP Government’s budget cuts.

Labour will reject all of the SNP administration’s preferred options for balancing the books, including the plans to cut school budgets, introduce a three-weekly bin service and slash funding for voluntary organisations.

Ahead of the national Budget vote in the Scottish Parliament this week, Jackie Baillie also called on the SNP council leader to stand up to Finance Secretary Derek Mackay and demand a better deal for West Dunbartonshire. Cllr Jonathan McColl has not yet confirmed whether he has accepted or rejected the Finance Secretary’s offer of a 1.9% real terms cut to local budgets this year.

Dumbarton MSP, Jackie Baillie, said:  “The SNP’s list of preferred cuts is a direct attack on the young, the old and the most vulnerable in West Dunbartonshire. Labour cannot and will not support any cuts to local jobs and services.

“The SNP Finance Minister has written to the Council Leader outlining the budget cuts he is passing on to local services. The question for Cllr Jonathan McColl is, will he put West Dunbartonshire first by rejecting the offer and demanding a better deal? If he does not even bother to reply the offer is automatically accepted and the budget cuts will be given the green light.

“West Dunbartonshire Council has substantial reserves and should use these to deliver a no-cuts budget.”

Leader of the Opposition, Cllr Martin Rooney, said:  “Councillors of all parties have been inundated with emails and phone calls from residents worried about the SNP’s proposals to cut local services like schools, charities and fortnightly bin collections.

“Our communities deserve meaningful engagement from the council and a real willingness to put forward a no-cuts budget that invests in services, not a take-it-or-leave it consultation which attacks the most vulnerable in society. The Tartan Tory proposals put forward by Cllr McColl will not receive any support from Labour councillors.”

The SNP have failed to respond to a request from The Democrat to include our publication on their mailing list for comments and quotes on political matters in West Dunbartonshire.



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