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Stirling Labour’s Budget Cuts Pass with Tory Support


Categories: Constituency, Stirling Council

Community Services and Facilities to Experience Managed Decline

SNP figures are warning of severe strains to communities and services, following the approval of Labour’s Stirling Council budget with support from the Tories.

The budget aims to close a £16m shortfall between Council running costs and income/reserves, exacerbated by ongoing inflation, high energy bills, economic instability and two years of indecision from the Labour and Tory partnership.

SNP Councillors put forward a competent and fully-funded alternative budget that would see vital services protected and key investments made across Stirling’s communities. Tory Councillors failed to produce their own budget, instead supporting Labour’s proposals.

Agreed Labour and Tory cuts include:

  • Halved the community grant scheme
  • Reduction in grants to Stirling Community Enterprise, Stirling Voluntary Enterprise and Citizens Advice and general third sector grant funding
  • Removal of free special uplift for over 60’s
  • Scrapping the Open Streets and Hogmanay event programmes, reducing events grants, cuts to events and marketing team
  • Stopping Non-Domestic Rates Discretionary Relief to National Charities
  • Cuts to McLaren Community Leisure Centre
  • 20% cut to Regeneration and Inclusive Growth Service
  • Reduction in nursery teachers
  • Removal of p5 primary school swimming programme
  • Removal of early years additionality to schools
  • Reduction in community based youth provision

Stirling SNP Council Group Leader Scott Farmer said:

‘This is a dark day for Stirling. Chris Kane and Neil Benny, leaders of Labour and the Tories here in Stirling, have continued their long partnership running Stirling Council into the ground. Through indecision, delays and shortsightedness, they have agreed a budget of cuts that will harm many in Stirling’s communities. Slashing efforts on Regeneration and Inclusive Growth, scrapping events which boost our local economy, hammering local charities who help and support our citizens – all of this will diminish Stirling, and will go down as a stain on this once proud Council.’

Local MP Alyn Smith said:

‘This Labour/Tory stitch up is going to cause real problems to many of the people I represent, and I am saddened that many of the constructive ideas put forward by SNP opposition Councillors were not adopted. I know well that local governments across the UK remain in dire straits, with several in England predicted to declare effective bankruptcy over the next 12 months. We cannot forget the impact 14 years of Tory austerity continues to have on public sector budgets across the UK, and indeed Scotland. Local Tories seem wilfully blind to these facts as they voted through Labour’s cuts. As Stirling’s MP, I’ll continue to work with stakeholders across our communities who will feel very let down by today’s Labour/Tory budget cuts.’

Evelyn Tweed, MSP for Stirling said:

‘My inbox has been full of worried constituents, shocked at the cuts proposals they’ve seen floated in the media lately. Whilst it is indeed welcome that libraries have been kept open, cuts in other areas will see growth undermined at a time where Stirling’s economy needs all the help it can get. Stirling has gone from hosting Scotland’s Hogmanay celebrations – and appearing on TV screens worldwide – to silence at the bells. I urge Labour and the Tories to listen to reason, and the overwhelming consensus from Stirling’s residents and rethink these plans which will only serve to exacerbate Stirling’s economic woes.’

Keith Brown, MSP for Clackmannanshire and Dunblane said:

‘Not content with wrecking the UK economy, the Tories have co-opted the local Labour party to drive through a budget of cuts onto communities across Stirling, including in Dunblane and Bridge of Allan. It’s clear who is really running the show at Stirling Council, and I sincerely hope that Stirling’s Tories will be honest with voters in their upcoming community meetings, and when challenged on devastating service cuts they’ll come clean –  in Stirling, Tory votes passed Labour’s budget cuts.’