SNP Group Leader Cllr. Andy Ferguson today (Tuesday) condemned what he termed “increasingly right-wing” Tory budget proposals and claimed a victory for SNP campaigning on the Council’s missing anti-poverty funding, which resulted in the last minute addition of spending plans by the minority Labour Administration after SNP Councillors identified millions of pounds allocated to the Council’s anti-poverty strategy but left unspent.
Commenting following today’s Full Council meeting, Cllr Ferguson said:
“We could not under any circumstances whatever support an increasingly right-wing Tory budget that raided the Attainment Fund for schools, attacks local support services, places children at risk by removing or reducing School Crossing patrols, slashes the Community Safety Fund when our communities are crying out for more support, advocates reducing clear up of rubbish in town centres, undermines the work done to attract Tourism support including the nationally acclaimed Biosphere and Galloway Glens projects and hinders planning development by reducing an already understaffed department.
“The Tory priorities for the forthcoming elections are clear – slash and burn while protecting second home owners.
“And as for Labour, it was only SNP action, identifying the millions they had left unspent in anti-poverty strategy money, and the pressure we placed their minority administration under over the past three weeks, that led to funding announcements rushed through at the last minute. They were found out, and they know it.
“Today we chose the lesser of two poor options and rejected Tory austerity max – over the coming weeks we will set out our full proposals for the future of Dumfries & Galloway Council and our region – not in a one-year budget but in comprehensive and ambitious manifesto proposals.”