SNP disappointment at budget moves

Depute Leader of the SNP Group on Dumfries & Galloway Council, Andy Ferguson, said he was disappointed but not surprised in the behaviour of Labour and one faction of Conservative councillors who teamed up to force through cuts to Additional Support for Learning Services.

Mr Ferguson said SNP councillors invited Labour to withdraw the ASL proposals from their budget – which the SNP Group would match – which was declined.

Finally the SNP Group amended their own budget to remove this year’s ASL savings and reduce years two and three substantially. This was defeated by Labour aided and Tory councillors led by Ivor Hyslop.

Councillor Ferguson said: “I am disappointed but not surprised that Labour, aided and abetted by Ivor Hyslop’s Tories, teamed up today to force through cuts to ASL provision. We gave them three opportunities to defer, remove or amend the proposals and each opportunity was rejected.”

Jim McClung, SNP councillor for Wigtown West said: “With the exception of their proposals for the taxi card scheme, which coincidentally they admit is not working to an acceptable standard at the minute due to dissatisfaction with the scheme on the part of both those who use it and those who supply it, the new spending on vulnerable groups has been obtained by slashing the budgets for ASL and Care and Repair which funds repairs to allow vulnerable people to continue to live independently in their own home. As for his Living Wage claims in effect the proposal is to spend money on expert support, fancy way to say employing more staff, to try and persuade suppliers to pay their workers a Living Wage but not ensure that they do so.”