William Eichler 13 December 2018

Scottish council chiefs ‘disappointed’ by Holyrood cuts

Scottish council chiefs ‘disappointed’ by Holyrood cuts  image

Local government leaders in Scotland have said they are ‘disappointed’ that the value of local services was not recognised by the Scottish government in yesterday’s budget.

COSLA, the voice of local government in Scotland, said the proposed budget was a cash cut to local government’s core budget and said they would engage in ‘meaningful dialogue’ with Holyrood.

It is estimated that Scottish councils will experience £200m in cuts.

‘Whichever way you want to dress it up, the reality of the situation is that yet again the totality of the essential services councils deliver has been neglected by the Scottish government,’ said COSLA president Cllr Alison Evison.

‘There is no scope for local government to mitigate the impact of these cuts as there has been no movement yet on local taxation – the 3% Council Tax Cap remains and there is no indication about discretionary taxation, including Tourist Tax.

‘It is extremely frustrating that, having worked well on a range of issues with the government this year, our contribution to meeting key outcomes across Scotland has not yet been acknowledged.’

COSLA’s resources spokesperson Cllr Gail Macgregor said her ‘foremost’ feeling ‘is one of disappointment.’ 

‘Disappointment for councils, disappointment for communities and disappointment that local government’s role as a deliverer of vital services, an employer and a procurer has not been recognised,’ she said.

‘There is always smoke and mirrors around how those at the centre present their budget. The one message that the Scottish people need to take from today’s budget is that the local government’s core budget which provides our essential services has taken a hit.

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