Depute Leader of the SNP Council Group on Dumfries & Galloway Council Andy Ferguson today (Thursday) said he was disappointed but not surprised in the behaviour of Labour and one faction of Tory Councillors who teamed up to force through cuts to Additional Support for Learning Services.
SNP Councillors first moved that business be deferred to allow for further information to be provided on the recent Scottish Government announcement on teacher numbers, which Labour Leader Ronnie Nicholson ruled out of order. SNP Councillors then invited Labour to withdraw the ASL proposals from their budget – which the SNP Group would match – which was declined. Finally the SNP Group amended their own budget to remove this year’s ASL savings and reduce years two and three substantially. This was defeated by Labour aided and Tory Councillors led by Ivor Hyslop.
Cllr. Ferguson commented:
“I am disappointed but not surprised that Labour, aided and abetted by Ivor Hyslop’s Tories, teamed up today to force through cuts to ASL provision. We gave them three opportunities to defer, remove or amend the ASL proposals and each opportunity was rejected out of hand.
“It is clear neither group was prepared to heed the concerns of parents, the EIS or even Scotland’s Children’s Commissioner. That is unthinkingly arrogant and short-sighted.
“The Council clearly has a new Administration, whatever its constituent parts might say to the contrary. It is now run by Labour and Ivor’s Tories – and the vote today proves it. They must have got so cosy during the referendum that they can’t get out of the habit of propping each other up.”