You’ll pay more but get less – and more misery on the way
HIGHLAND residents will suffer higher bills and receive fewer services after the council pushed through a cuts-laden budget.
Austerity was the order of the day yesterday as the administration’s proposals were approved to help fill a £20million black hole.
But the cuts were not enough to stop householders being hit by at least a 3% rise in council tax – with some facing a double-digit increase.
Council leader Margaret Davidson accused the Scottish Government of “Orwellian” spin and halftruths that caused confusion over funding as the council was trying to set its budget.
And there was awarning of more misery to come, with signs that similar savings would be needed in each of the next two years.
A 22-year-old man who admitted drunkenly shouting homophobic remarks in two Lerwick pubs last autumn has been fined £150.
Ellis Birnie, of Sandveien, Lerwick, pleaded guilty to behaving in a threatening or abusive manner by shouting, swearing and making the homophobic comments at the Thule Bar and Captain Flints on September 27.
Procurator fiscal Duncan Mackenzie said Birnie had spotted some people he knew at the bar and started “making derogatory remarks about the females’s perceived sexuality”.
Defence agent Tommy Allan said his client suffered from epilepsy and diabetes, and did not always manage his diet well.
He added that he accepted he became involved in a dispute and said “inappropriate” things.
Sheriff Philip Mann said he hoped it would be a “wake-up call” for Birnie.
SPINNING AROUND: Highland Council leader Margaret Davidson has accused the Scottish Government of half-truths