Budget protest at Holyrood

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Lanarkshire community groups and trade unionists joined Labour representatives for a demonstration at the Scottish Parliament in the wake of its latest budget.

They were there to highlight their concerns over cuts to local authorities having implications for vulnerable groups in the area.

Council leader Jim Logue says that the council’s services will see cuts of £34.5 million.

Councillor Logue said: “We have now had time to analyse the Scottish Government’s budget announcement and, put simply, although there is a £400million increase to the amount of money the Scottish Government is getting, they have decided once again that local services should bear the brunt of the cuts.”

David Stocks, leader of the SNP group on North Lanarkshire Council, said his party’s budget would actually provide a significant boost in funding for local services, with NLC getting a large share of social deprivation funding designed to close the attainment gap in schools, as well as money for council-employed care workers.

He said: “£60 million is also earmarked as the first phase in expanding early learning and childcare to 1,140 hours. There is also a commitment by the Scottish Government to spend £470 million of direct capital investment to begin the delivery of 50,000 new homes. Councils’ capital spending will also increase by £150 million.”

“Overall,this is a good SNP-Government budget which will increase local services spending in North Lanarkshire.”