Call to write to MSPs over bud­get cuts

West Lothian Courier - - Courier View -

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.

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