SNP’s grilling on wards cash

Leader Ross urged to ex­plain sys­tem

Rutherglen Reformer - - News -

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.”

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