An­gus dep­u­ta­tion puts forth case for more money to min­is­ter

The Courier & Advertiser (Angus and The Mearns Edition) - - NEWS -

An­gus Coun­cil chiefs say they held a “pro­duc­tive” meet­ing with the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment’s fi­nance min­is­ter in their bid to se­cure more cash for the re­gion.

Lo­cal author­ity leader Bob Myles, fi­nance con­vener An­gus Macmil­lan Dou­glas, and fi­nance di­rec­tor Ian Lorimer met Derek Mackay to put for­ward “a strong case” for in­creased fund­ing from Holy­rood.

Coun­cil­lor Myles said the rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the administration and gov­ern­ment both recog­nised the pres­sures fac­ing the pub­lic sec­tor.

They also noted the “ma­jor steps” that An­gus Coun­cil had made to im­prove its ef­fi­ciency and pro­tect pub­lic ser­vices.

Coun­cil­lor Macmil­lan Dou­glas said 80% of the coun­cil’s rev­enue came from the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment and the author­ity would have to save nearly 30% of its bud­get be­tween 2015 and 2021.

He added: “A con­struc­tive di­a­logue was had about ways to move for­ward, which could have mu­tual ben­e­fit.”

Mr Myles said the min­is­ter ap­peared to recog­nise the con­straints fac­ing au­thor­i­ties, hav­ing been a coun­cil leader be­fore he en­tered the Scot­tish Par­lia­ment.

How­ever, he said he was quick to point out that the SNP’S man­i­festo com­mit­ments had to be de­liv­ered, leav­ing him lit­tle room for ma­noeu­vre.

Mr Myles said: “We made a plea in gen­eral about re­leas­ing more money to the coun­cil.

“Hav­ing been a coun­cil leader him­self, Mr Mckay knows how lo­cal au­thor­i­ties work and how each one has to work to tight bud­gets. He is try­ing to be flex­i­ble. If we come up with some­thing in­no­va­tive, for in­stance in pro­cure­ment, then he’d have a look at it.”

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