Fife Council boss urges MSPs to block cuts

Fife Council leader David Ross
Fife Council leader David Ross

Fife Council Leader David Ross is urging all Fife MSPs to reject the SNP Government’s proposed cut of £327m to local authority funding.

His call comes as a debate on the Scottish budget begins in Holyrood today.

Cllr Ross said: “This cut in the budget for local services means a direct loss of £24.3m grant to Fife before we even think about coping with increased costs and demands for services.

“A cut of this level in our funding will have a direct impact on local services such as education, health and social care, roads and transport, environment and community facilities.

“I have therefore written to all Fife’s MSPs asking them to use their influence to get the SNP government to change its mind and reverse this massive cut in funding for local services.”

Mr Ross revealed he had written specifically to Willie Rennie and Mark Ruskell urging the Liberal Democrats and the Greens, as opposition parties, not to agree the Scottish budget unless acut to local funding was reversed.

“I have already had this undertaking from Scottish Labour MSPs, he said. “This year’s settlement from the UK Government has seen a cash increase in the Scottish budget, despite the Tories continuing austerity agenda. But SNP Finance Minister Derek Mackay is still choosing to cut funding for local council services.

“Fife has seen a £161m removed from our budget since 2010. Unless we take a different approach as a country, local services across Scotland will be unrecognisable in years to come.

“The SNP Government now has the powers to act differently rather than passing on cuts to local services, and that is why I am urging Fife’s MSPs to stand up for Fife and help protect our vital local services.”