SNP’s grilling on wards cash
Leader Ross urged to explain system
The new SNP minority administration have been accused of a “lack of transparency” over a manifesto pledge to deliver £20 million of funding directly to council wards by 2022.
New leader, John Ross, faced a grilling at the first executive committee over his party’s promise to hand over £1m to each ward over the next five years.
Opposition councillors said it was time for the SNP to explain how this cash would be delivered as it was not detailed in the revenue budget paper for 2017/18 – which outlined an expected £27m of cuts.
Margaret Cooper, leader of the council’s independent group, said: “I do not see anything in this paper reflecting your manifesto promise to deliver £1m per ward into community control by 2022?
“Where is this going to be found with cuts of £27m?
“And when are the administration likely to bring a paper to committee regarding this manifesto commitment?
“It is only right a paper should have been brought forward at a very early stage demonstrating how this will be done.
“There is a community expectation of receiving this funding.
“If you are shifting money to community control - you must have an idea of how you are going to do that?”
But the council leader said more details would be brought forward following the summer recess but he was unwilling to comment further at this stage.
Mr Ross responded: “We are duty bound to bring this forward and we will do as quickly as possible.
“As members are well aware we have only been in administration for a very short time.
“I will share plans with my group before sharing them with the committee – I will bring plans forward when the time is right but at this time I am not willing to do that.
“We will bring forward these plans, which will be in the best interests of local people, and that will be your chance to see whether you think they are a good idea or not.”