Inverclyde Budget – SNP Opposition View

As many of you will have now noticed, proposals to plug the multi million pound budget black hole that Labour run Inverclyde council faces have now been circulated. More in depth detail can be found here under agenda item 12:
https://www.inverclyde.gov.uk/GetAsset.aspx?id=fAAyADcAOAA5ADQAfAB8AFQAcgB1AGUAfAB8ADAAfAA1

Put simply we face a situation that the money we require to pay for all our services far exceeds the money available to pay for them. I noted that our Labour council leader was quick to apportion blame to everyone else but his party. No blame at the door of the Westminster Tory government – his party spent the last 2 years supporting – who are passing on cuts to the Scottish Government to deal with. No blame at the door of his own administration of course.

However finger pointing and blaming others will do nothing to help the people that live in Inverclyde who will feel the pain of this budget of cuts.

As a council all parties have agreed to work together to engage with you to listen to your views on what services you believe should be prioritised. As a sensible opposition your SNP group have agreed to join a joint leadership group to discuss issues that emerge during the budget process.

The Coporate Management team of your council have compiled a list of potential savings that can address the funding gap in the councils budget going forward.

On 18th November members of the council will be meeting at the Policy and resources committee to agree that these proposals – important to remember proposals only – go out to consultation with you to learn your views on them.

I’m sure you like me will be absolutely against many of these ideas. Already the SNP group have identified certain proposals that we are completely opposed to. The Clyde would dry up before we accept the closure of our only public golf course or a day that primary schools exist without head teachers!

This is a time for honest principled politics. We must reject the temptation of big tent politics that seek to set a budget based on popularity that neglects the most vulnerable and needy in our towns.

A budget will be set in February 2015. On November 18th we are being asked to agree to consult the public on
what council management propose. It is important to note that agreeing to consult with you is not agreeing to the savings suggested. Of course as I’ve said we reject several of the proposals but my group believe your views are what counts. I hope that the results of the public consultation prove that the public of Inverclyde believe – like we in the SNP do – that we must set a budget that protects the most vulnerable in our society whilst supporting the 1000s of hard working people across Inverclyde.

Of course if at anytime over the coming months as an individual or group you feel you’d like to meet so that we can better understand your situation just let me know.

Christopher.

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