New Year Message from Councillor Willie Scobie

Willie Scobie
Willie Scobie

“The year 2014 will be remembered as yet another year of austerity, cuts to our public services and further Welfare Reform.

Dumfries and Galloway Council avoided any compulsory redundancies, mitigated against the effect of the continued Bedroom Tax but could not avoid cuts to public services.

We saw further changes in the Council Administration with the SNP deciding to walk away from the Labour/SNP Administration.

But what does this mean for the People of Stranraer.

Think about it.

“If any local employer was to announce s/he was making the same number of people unemployed, or a factory was to close with the same number of jobs lost as has happened to the number of Council posts that have either been drawn into the centre or lost to the local Stranraer economy, there would be public outcry.

As we move closer to 2015, we are seeing more cuts on the horizon, further reorganisation of the Council with more job losses, and further suffering on the sick and disabled, the disadvantaged and the poor.

We have seen volunteers stepping up to the plate in organising ‘Food Banks’ so those in need do not go hungry.

Our Council continues to provide Discretionary Housing Payments so nobody need be evicted because of the Bedroom Tax.

And now we see the re-introduction of an Anti Poverty Strategy.

“What we need is for our Parliamentarians to also step up to the plate and use whatever powers and responsibilities they still retain at Westminster or have devolved to Holyrood following the September Referendum to make sure that in 2015 no one should go hungry or suffer the indignity of abject poverty.

As we hear of the sad loss of lives again on the streets of Glasgow, our hearts go out to those who lost a loved one as a result of a tragic accident. This should be a reminder of the true value of a human life and everyone’s needs.

In reflecting on such human losses, I hope 2015 will bring understanding, compassion and commitment to providing services to those most in need, along with the eradication of poverty in whatever way it presents itself.

Governments of all political persuasion have a duty and responsibility to look after all its citizens from the very young to the old. If only they would tax those who avoid or are let off with paying their taxes, like the huge corporation companies. In doing so, the country could be provided with a proper health service and all the public services we need.

Guid New Year to One and All.”