Extra funding for Fife Council in proposed budget

Fife Council co-leader David Alexander welcomed the funding boost.
Fife Council co-leader David Alexander welcomed the funding boost.

Fife Council is to receive £10.8 million in extra funding under the revised Scottish Government budget proposals passed this week.

News of the extra funding was welcomed by council co-leader David Alexander, who described it as a “pretty good deal”.

While Cllr Alexander said the council would still be looking to make around £20 million in savings, he admitted: “I’m more positive about the future than two months ago.”

He added: “It is welcome news.

“First of all we were budgeting for a 2.5 per cent reduction. But when the first draft budget came out the reduction was only 1.75 per cent.

“Then with this announcement, that wiped out that 1.75 per cent reduction altogether.

“We now have the same grant as last year. That’s a pretty good deal.”

Cllr Alexander said the council would still be looking to make savings, but that budget cuts would make less and less impact if the council could become as efficient as possible.

Mid Fife and Glenrothes MSP Jenny Gilruth also welcomed the announcement, saying: “Thanks to the decisions made by the Scottish Government, local government funding is increasing by inflation and Fife Council have today been given an extra £10.8 million to spend on local services.

“That’s a good deal for taxpayers and for public services in Fife – and is only possible because of the SNP’s progressive tax reforms, that are backed by the public by two to one.

“In the face of massive Westminster cuts, the Scottish Government is using its powers progressively to invest in our schools and our hospitals – and in communities across Fife.”

The budget deal was passed thanks to the support of the Greens.

Mid Scotland and Fife MSP Mark Ruskell said: “I am delighted that my Green MSP colleagues and I have been able conclude this deal which will ensure Fife Council’s proposed cuts programme can now be scrapped. Last year the Council proposed a huge package of cuts to services including reducing the number of head teachers in schools and a huge cut to health and social care.”