Crunch time for Dumfries and Galloway Council

Dumfries and Galloway Council
Dumfries and Galloway Council

Tough decisions will have to be met today (Thursday) when Dumfries and Galloway Council meets to set its budget for the coming financial year.

Ahead of the crunch meeting, council leader Elaine Murray has released new figures which show the Scottish Government has slashed the council’s budget by 12.6 per cent in real terms since 2010.

At the same time the Scottish Government’s own funding allocation has faced a real terms cut of six per cent from the UK Conservative Government.

When tax and borrowing decisions made by the Scottish Government are taking into account, the real terms cut in Scottish Government spending falls to 3.8 per cent – almost a quarter of the cut imposed by the Scottish Government on Dumfries and Galloway Council.

Dumfries and Galloway Council is expected to use a combination of Council Tax rises and cuts to services to plug a funding gap of nearly £15 million.

Councillor Elaine Murray said: “This analysis makes it clear that decisions taken by both the UK Conservative Government and SNP Scottish Government have led to a real terms funding cut of 12.6 per cent being imposed on our council since 2010. Local Tory and SNP politicians must take responsibility for the decisions taken by the governments that they support. The funding reductions imposed on our council has resulted in almost £100m worth of cuts being made to vital local services.

“Dumfries and Galloway Council’s budget has been cut to the bone. The level of cuts still being imposed on our council as a result of Tory austerity and SNP cuts will lead to further cuts in vital local services and will have huge implications on our schools, social care services and on the council’s ability to invest in local roads and the economy.”

Local Labour MSP Colin Smyth, who recently voted against the Scottish Government’s budget, said: “These figures reveal show that the SNP Government in Edinburgh have taken Tory austerity and more than doubled it when it comes to cuts to our local council. Each year more and more cuts are passed on to councils because the government know the council gets the blame for the cuts.

“Until people wake up to the fact that the buck for the cuts rests with the government rather than the local council, these cuts will continue until it is too late and we lose for good services so many local people rely on.”