Laura Sharman 10 February 2016

All Scottish councils accept funding deal

Council leaders in Scotland have ‘reluctantly’ accepted the £350m funding cut from the Scottish Government.

All 32 councils have confirmed they will accept the funding package which includes a freeze on council tax, the integration of health and social care, and a commitment to maintain teacher numbers.

However, leader of Stirling Council, Johanna Boyd, said she had only accepted the funding settlement ‘under duress’ and warned it would lead to job and service cuts.

She said: ‘The unfortunate reality is that Stirling Council has no choice but to accept the unacceptable or face draconian sanctions in losing our share of £408m.’

The leader of Inverclyde Council, Stephen McCabe, has also threated legal action over the sanctions imposed by Scottish Government, saying the settlement will have a ‘devastating’ impact on local communities, services and jobs.

However, Deputy first minister John Swinney argued the financial settlement would enable councils to increase the pace of reform and improve public services.

He said: ‘The Scottish Government was elected on a promise to freeze the council tax while we consider ways to replace it with a fairer system. That is the correct approach to take to provide support to household incomes in these challenging financial times.

‘My priority all along has been to deliver a financial settlement that councils can accept in order that we can pursue our shared priorities to improve outcomes for local people through health and social care integration and by improving educational attainment.’

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