Last week I read in your paper some articles written by the Labour group on Dumfries and Galloway Council and farmed out to their reducing support to put their names to. I find it unfortunate that the Labour Party is misleading the public yet again.
The administration was said to be limping along. It should be noted that all of our budget lines were agreed, with only one at a slightly reduced rate. No other grouping achieved this.
As a minority administration, we have to negotiate with other parties to get a budget through, a process that we have engaged with yearly. The administration offered both opposition groupings the chance to influence the budget, and this was taken up by the SNP/Independent grouping who came along and gave us a view on what they wanted from the budget.
Disappointingly, Labour sat and sulked in their room, bereft of ideas, as they only put out a draft budget after they had been able to pick up some of our ideas, as we indicated the previous week our direction of travel.
It is quite clear that on budget day itself we had the embarrassing situation of Labour leader Councillor Ronnie Nicholson begging SNP to come on board with them to get their budget through. Clearly, it is the Labour Party limping through to the next election.
When this council started five years ago we inherited a budget that heavily relied on sales from property to balance our income against expenditure. We now have a balanced budget and can now use our capital receipts to improve our facilities across the region. Don’t let Labour take us back to a council that was criticised by Audit Scotland for their “leadership”, that had a social work service criticised by Social Work Inspection Agency and a budget that was leading the council to bankruptcy.
This is a reflection of what happened on the day but not seen through rose-tinted spectacles.
Leader, Conservative/LibDem Administration