Kevin Keenan

Labour Group Leader , Dundee City Council

Kevin Keenan

SNP Council Cuts : Bad News in Instalments

19 October 2015

“The SNP Administration is delivering bad news in instalments with the Finance Spokesperson sending an early message to Dundee citizens to brace themselves for budget cuts.

I also detect a change of tone with the admission that services were “slashed” in the last budget process - these would previously have been described as “efficiency savings”.

SNP Administration already has a poor record on Education.

They have failed in their promise on pupil numbers and their record on recruiting and retaining teachers is poor.

The Convener has now given an early warning of further cuts to off-site provision.

This will be another announcement, like the closure of Menzieshill High School, which will have an affect on every school in the City.

If there is a cut in off-site provision, this will mean that pupils who need this support will remain in mainstream schools longer leading to classes being disrupted as their additional needs monopolise the classroom teacher’s time.

Our pupils and their teachers deserve better.

We are looking at short term cuts with long term damage.

The Administration have cut millions of pounds from budgets year on year; they have already closed a day care centre and will close a secondary school affecting hundreds of people and their families and yet last year a further 19 employees joined the ranks of the top earnings bracket in Dundee.

Are their cuts being made in the right places?

The Scottish Government would have people believe that they fully fund the Council Tax freeze.

Yet year on year the SNP Administration in Dundee have been cutting budgets and “slashing” services and trying to blame everyone else without shouldering any responsibility themselves.

The Scottish Government could deliver considerably more support for this City by using some of their £347m underspend which they accrued last year.

No doubt we will see some of this spend coming forward as they look to secure their own positions in the 2016 Scottish Government elections.

In the meantime, the citizens of Dundee can only live in the hope that the services they need will be there for them.

More cuts from a Party which pretended to be anti-austerity at the UK General Election but at every opportunity avoid using their devolved power that could make a difference.