MSP issues challenge
Kelly asks Swinney to visit
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.”