Finlay Carson, the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Candidate for Galloway and West Dumfries, has backed Dumfries and Galloway Council Administration’s budget for 2016-17
Carson, who is also the Councillor for Castle Douglas and Glenkens, was speaking after various budget options were reviewed at a meeting of the Full Council on Monday 29th Feb..

“Today we had to make some very difficult choices to make. Our council has been put under immense pressure to find saving of over £21 million because of the decisions taken by John Swinney and his SNP colleagues. If the Scottish Government had passed on the same level of increase in budget from the UK Government we would have seen an increase of around £2 million, but instead we are facing unprecedented cuts.

I backed a budget that, on balance, had the least impact on public services and jobs in Galloway and West Dumfries.
The councils’ SNP group proposals followed their party’s national trend in attacking rural areas with severe cuts to our bus services which would have seen the majority of routes taken away from our rural towns. Rural road gritting would also have been dramatically reduced.
The SNP also voted against the capital budget proposals which will see investment in flood preventions schemes in Newton Stewart and Langholm. Local Area Committee funding would also have been slashed, affecting many projects which are vitally important to local people.

We have again seen the SNP’s total disregards towards rural areas and rural democracy. Today was a typical example of their lack of understanding of the challenges facing people in rural Dumfries and Galloway. The SNP policy is one of centralisation and taking funding and decision-making away from local people.
The SNP budget would also have resulted in the loss of instrument instruction in our schools, with 15 instructor positions being made redundant. I know how important music is in young people’s development. Totally removing this service would have been completely unacceptable.”
“The option proposed today by the SNP should be a wake-up call for voters in Dumfries and Galloway. The SNP will continue to turn their back on rural areas by reducing funding and services and progressing their centralisation policies.

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