Call to write to MSPs over budget cuts
Christmas is a time for giving, but readers will be aware West Lothian Council is planning on cutting £73 million from its budget across the next five years.
If imposed, this will likely mean many job losses in West Lothian as well as extensive cuts to vital services for the constituents of West Lothian, many of whom depend on these services to have any quality of life. Over the last few years, councils have been hit by far the hardest of all public services in Scotland with real terms budget cuts. Whilst we appreciate this is aggravated by funding cuts from Westminster and recognise the council has the powers to increase council tax to three per cent, we strongly believe the Scottish Government has a pivotal role in addressing the funding crisis and the powers to stop these cuts to councils, and indeed reversing them. We have written to our local MSPs to ask them to help ensure the Scottish Government’s upcoming budget announcement on December 14 includes a commitment to significantly increase funding to councils across Scotland to help protect jobs within their constituencies as well as services which many of your readers depend on. We would also encourage readers to write to their local MSPs too. In the spirit of Christmas, we will be asking our members and the wider public to get involved with a UNISON Christmas card campaign. These cards will be addressed to councillors asking for them to give our members what they really want for Christmas – job security and a halt to the cuts that will decimate the heart of our communities. Like I said, Christmas is a time for giving.
Andy Anderson, Branch Secretary UNISON West Lothian.