Pentland blast over council’s cash cuts

MSP John Pentland this week accused the Scottish Government of unfairly treating local authorities in general and North Lanarkshire Council in particular.

The Motherwell and Wishaw Labour MSP spoke out after the SNP Government’s announcement of this year’s local government settlement.

He said the details confirmed the huge cuts previously announced and outlined how they will fall on individual local authorities and challenged a declaration by Cabinet Secretary John Swinney that he considered the settlement to be ‘fair’.

He said: “We are asked to accept that the settlement is fair, but how can it be fair that local government is carrying the overwhelming burden of Scottish Government cuts?

“North Lanarkshire Council is suffering more than most. Services and more than 1,000 jobs are threatened in an area that desperately needs economic growth.”

Mr Pentland said that North Lanarkshire will receive a cash revenue settlement of £590 million for 2013/14, compared to £591 million last year.

He continued: “The money is down a little in cash terms but that of course does not address the increasing costs of providing services.

“Taking inflation into account, that’s a £16 million cut in revenue funding on top of £12 million last year, and with a further £19 million scheduled next year.

“North Lanarkshire is suffering more than most this year, next year is set to be worse, and there are also cuts in capital funding.”