Council leaders welcome SNP spending review

Council leaders from across Scotland have welcomed today's Spending Review by the Finance Secretary John Swinney as a 'fair deal' in the face of Westminster's cuts.

Councillor Peter Johnston, the Leader West Lothian Council, said:

“Given the substantial reductions in the Holyrood budget the Cabinet Secretary has delivered a fair deal for Scottish Councils.

"I am delighted to see the drive towards preventative spending and very much welcome the £500 million being made available over this spending period to improve services in early years and for care for the elderly.

"I welcome the funding to maintain front line police numbers, an investment which is delivering safer communities, and very much support the maintenance of teacher numbers and the guarantee for teaching probationers

Councillor Callum McCaig, Leader of Aberdeen City Council, said:

"The announcement of the 85% funding floor is good news in terms of funding at ACC.

"This funding settlement is better than what we were predicting last year, which formed the basis of our financial strategy and that given the hand that the Scottish Government has been dealt by the Westminster Treasury local government has come out of things pretty well."

Councillor Brian Lawson, Leader of Renfrewshire Council, said:

"I attended the COSLA group Leaders meeting only last week, and it was very clear to me the direction in which the budget was heading.

"I am happy to see teacher numbers and police budgets protected, that is what the people of Renfrewshire have been telling us they want.

"All of the pain being inflicted on Scottish local government is a direct result of Westminster government cuts started by the last Labour government and now forced upon us by the current Tory/LibDem government. John Swinney is doing his best for Scotland in very difficult circumstances."

Councillor Peter Grant, Leader of Fife Council, added:

"Given exceptionally difficult circumstances John Swinney has done an excellent job in protecting essential frontline services in local government and the NHS."