Labour fight back as savage budget cuts are revealed

With the Council facing the most severe round of cuts since its inception, Labour have launched a South Lanarkshire-wide fightback against austerity. 

South Lanarkshire Council HQ

South Lanarkshire Council HQ

Millions of pounds of savings options have now been released into the public domain and the Leader of the Labour Opposition has written to other parties to warn that:

  • The SNP Government are forcing cuts onto South Lanarkshire that are three and a half times as bad as the cuts the Tories have imposed on Scotland.
  • Labour councillors will mount a campaign against cuts to protect frontline jobs and services, like gritting and winter maintenance.
  • The Labour Group on South Lanarkshire Council will not take part in any cross-party Budget talks until cuts affecting the poorest and most vulnerable, like de-funding breakfast clubs and lunch clubs, are taken off the table. 
Councillor Joe Fagan

Councillor Joe Fagan is Leader of the Labour Group on South Lanarkshire Council

Responding to the publication of South Lanarkshire Council’s Budget Savings proposals, Leader of the Labour Opposition, Councillor Joe Fagan said:

Many of us have been warning that this day would come. We told the SNP for years that Sturgeon was cutting council budgets too much and we told the Tories that austerity wasn’t working. They didn’t listen and now the chickens have come to roost.

The total spending gap between now and 2027 now stands at more than £100 million – and that’s after a decade of austerity. This Budget is a watershed for us all. Never before has the Council been faced with such severe cuts to core services.

Proposals include defunding children’s breakfast clubs and school lunch clubs, cutting back street gritting and slashing teaching posts, childcare and school buses. I am astonished that the SNP leadership have allowed this paper to go forward. If they think this package is remotely acceptable then they have completely lost touch with the people who elected them and the frontline workers who keep this Council going.

After a decade of austerity, frontline workers are being stretched and local services are at breaking point. The Council is only considering these unprecedented cuts to core services because the SNP have consistently failed to protect council budgets and defend our communities. Enough is enough.

I have written to the leaders of the other parties in South Lanarkshire Council to tell them that Labour will be mobilising a campaign against the council cuts and we will not take part in any negotiations on this year’s Budget unless cuts affecting the poorest and most vulnerable in society are taken off the table. Protecting early years provision and securing the future of school lunch clubs and breakfast clubs are ‘red line’ issues for us. There will be no talks involving the Labour Group for as long as those mindboggling cuts are under consideration.

The time has come for councillors to put community before party and unite against the cuts to the vital council services on which we all depend.

Details of the proposed cuts were published on Wednesday and will be discussed at the Council’s Executive Committee on 13th January.


7th January 2021

Posted by HLSLabour

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