The SNP’s Minister for Local Government, Marco Biagi, must promise to reverse the cuts to West Dunbartonshire Council when he visits Dumbarton on Wednesday, local MP Gemma Doyle and MSP Jackie Baillie have said.

The Labour MP and MSP have called on the SNP Government to end its ‘austerity-plus’ policy of passing on more than a fair share spending cuts to local communities like ours in Dumbarton, the Vale of Leven and Clydebank.

West Dunbartonshire Council has been forced to consider savings options to fill a £17 million gap created by cuts to council funding from the Edinburgh Government.

In a letter to local authorities, SNP Finance Minister John Swinney said the Scottish Government’s own budget has been cut by 10% since 2010 under the Tory-led Coalition.

However Council officials have calculated that over the same period the SNP Government in Edinburgh has slashed West Dunbartonshire’s grant by 22%. The SNP are taking a cut from Westminster, more than doubling it, and then passing it on to local people.

SNP Minister Marco Biagi is due to meet West Dunbartonshire Council on Wednesday 28 January and Gemma and Jackie are calling on him to reverse the cuts to save public services.

Jackie said:

“The SNP Government in Edinburgh is quick to shout about the cuts passed down from the Tories in Westminster.

“But they are giving a raw deal to the people of West Dunbartonshire. We now know that they have been forcing an even tougher form of austerity on our own communities here in West Dunbartonshire. When the Local Government Minister visits us on Wednesday he should face up to the consequences of the SNP’s austerity-plus agenda and promise to protect frontline services by reversing the cuts.”

Gemma said:

“More than 3000 local people have responded to the Council’s consultation and it’s no surprise that many of the options have been met with strong opposition. From educating our children to providing care for the elderly, West Dunbartonshire Council provides some of the most important public services and the scale of the cuts handed down from Edinburgh is unthinkable.

“It’s time for the SNP Government to step up to the plate and stop starving our local council of funding. For years, the SNP in Edinburgh has been taking cuts from the Tories in Westminster, more than doubling them, and passing them down to West Dunbartonshire. How can we trust the SNP to stand up for Scotland when they are doing the Tories job for them

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