SNP and Greens ready to agree bud­get deal

Evening Times - - NEWS - By STE­WART PA­TER­SON Po­lit­i­cal Cor­re­spon­dent

THE SNP and Greens at Glas­gow City Coun­cil are on the verge of agree­ing a bud­get deal sim­i­lar to their par­ties at Holy­rood.

As at Holy­rood, the SNP is in charge in a mi­nor­ity ad­min­is­tra­tion and needs the back­ing of at least one other party to get its bud­get through.

Se­nior coun­cil­lors from both par­ties have been in talks and agreed com­mon ground, with just weeks un­til the bud­get is voted on.

No specifics have been fi­nalised but the deal break­ers which the Greens want ad­dressed are in line with the SNP plans.

The Greens are tak­ing credit for forc­ing the Scot­tish Govern­ment Fi­nance Sec­re­tary to al­lo­cate more cash to coun­cils and they want Glas­gow’s share spent on spe­cific pri­or­i­ties.

The Green votes would give the SNP the 43 votes needed to pass its first city coun­cil bud­get.

They are re­quest­ing pro­tec­tion for school fund­ing and rein­vest­ment in cleans­ing, parks li­braries and home­less­ness fund­ing.

They want the coun­cil to match the Scot­tish Govern­ment pub­lic sec­tor pay deal, more 20mph streets and im­prove­ments to walking and cy­cling routes.

Al­lan Young, Green econ­omy spokesman, said: “Greens have al­ready se­cured an ex­tra £17.6 mil­lion for this year’s Glas­gow bud­get. Now we’re look­ing to en­sure those ad­di­tional funds are di­rected into ser­vices which peo­ple value and rely on, as well as for ideas to make the city fairer and more sus­tain­able.

“Peo­ple in Glas­gow voted for change last year and the new ad- min­is­tra­tion has a chance to sig­nal a new di­rec­tion af­ter years of un­der-in­vest­ment. But in a coun­cil cham­ber where no party has an over­all ma­jor­ity, the fi­nal bud­get deal must re­flect a di­ver­sity of ideas.”

The SNP said the ar­eas the Greens high­lighted are ar­eas it is look­ing to de­liver on.

Al­lan Gow, city trea­surer, said: “We have held a se­ries of pro­duc­tive dis­cus­sions with the Green group and there are sev­eral ar­eas of mu­tual in­ter­est which we have been ex­plor­ing to­gether.

“Ed­u­ca­tion, clean streets and neigh­bour­hoods, con­nec­tiv­ity and a fair deal for our work­force are all pri­or­ity ar­eas for the SNP City Govern­ment.

“The cit­i­zens of Glas­gow voted for change and our bud­get will lay the firmest of foun­da­tions for both fair­ness and that change the elec­torate de­manded.”

Green econ­omy spokesman Al­lan Young, left and right, city trea­surer Al­lan Gow

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