MSP is­sues chal­lenge

Kelly asks Swin­ney to visit

Rutherglen Reformer - - Chef’s Corner - Will Hen­shaw

Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang MSP James Kelly has chal­lenged deputy first min­ster John Swin­ney to visit Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang to see for him­self the im­pact of bud­get cuts.

While speak­ing in Fi­nance Ques­tions on Wed­nes­day, Septem­ber 9, the lo­cal MSP raised the is­sue of coun­cil fund­ing and called on the SNP gov­ern­ment to start meet­ing with coun­cils.

Mr Kelly said he is con­cerned that re­peated cuts from Ed­in­burgh to coun­cils are hav­ing a se­ri­ous im­pact on his con­stituents in Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang.

South Lana rk s h i re Coun­cil’s bud­get has been cut by £ 80m over the past three years.

Mr Kelly said: “There’s no get­ting away from notic­ing the im­pact that sus­tained cuts at the hands of the SNP are hav­ing on lo­cal coun­cils across Scot­land – and it’s vis­i­ble right here in Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang.

“Car­ers’ vis­its to older peo­ple are be­ing cut short, hous­ing wait­ing lists are grow­ing and chil­dren now have to pay to ap­peal their ex­ams.

“When you look at the fig­ures and see that the SNP in Ed­in­burgh has cut South La­nark­shire’s bud­get by £ 80m in just three years – it’s pretty easy to start to join the dots.”

How­ever, Mr Swin­ney this week told the Re­former: “As I said in my re­sponse to Mr Kelly in Par­lia­ment this week, I regularly travel be­yond Ed­in­burgh to e n g age w i t h lo­cal author­i­ties and com­mu­ni­ties and will this Mon­day be tak­ing part in a se­ries of events in the west of Scot­land.

“This en­ables the gov­ern­ment to en­gage with lo­cal author­i­ties on the is­sues that af­fect them - for ex­am­ple, the bud­get, about which I had a very pro­duc­tive meet­ing with the Con­ven­tion of Scot­tish Lo­cal Author­i­ties just last week.

“The Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment is com­mit­ted to pro­tect­ing public ser­vices and lo­cal gov­ern­ment bud­gets de­spite the UK Gov­ern­ment’s cuts to the Scot­tish bud­get.”

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