More Cuts Create Dumfries and Galloway Jobs Loss Fear

Today (Monday) COSLA sent a strong message to the Scottish Government – ‘Another cut for local government will result in severe job losses’.

The Scottish Government will announce the funding that will be made available to Scottish councils as part of its Local Government Finance Settlement on 15 December.

Ahead of the announcement, COSLA is highlighting the impact that another cut to local authority funding will have. The information provided by COSLA today focuses on the severe consequences for jobs across the country if there was another cut to local government funding.

Chair of the Council’s Economy, Environment and Infrastructure committee, Colin Smyth, painted a similar picture for Dumfries and Galloway if council funding was reduced again this year. He said “Building the local economy in Dumfries and Galloway is this council’s number one priority. The Scottish Government have to recognise the devastating impact that another cut to local government funding will have on delivering this commitment. Dumfries and Galloway has some of the highest levels of youth unemployment for young people in Scotland and that’s why we have introduced programmes such our Young Entrepreneur scheme to help young people set up a business as well as our youth guarantee- to provide young people with a guaranteed place in training, further or higher education, an apprenticeship or a job. More Government cuts will have a huge impact on this support. Our successful programme of support to local businesses – which helps start up 400 businesses will also be under threat. The Government also fails to understand that the Council is the largest employer in the region. A cut of the same level as last year could put another 400 jobs at risk- and that would be devastating for the local economy.”

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The COSLA campaign will focus on a different council area each day. Our Council will provide a local perspective to the national statement every day.


COSLA today (Monday) said that a cut to local government funding from central government next week will have severe consequences for jobs across the country,

Speaking in advance of the Scottish Government laying out its spending plans for next year, COSLA President Councillor David O’Neill said: “The Scottish Government needs to realise that if as a result of their political choices the local government settlement is cut again next week – this will have severe consequences for jobs across Scotland.

“There were 7,000 job losses arising from the £350m cut to Scottish councils last year. A further reduction in budget of similar proportions, on an already reduced base, will have even more severe consequences for job losses in councils and have a wider knock on effect for jobs within communities. We need to remember that services are delivered by these people – no people, no services to communities.

“The Scottish Government needs to remember that in many areas the council is the largest employer and therefore a cut in council jobs has a devastating knock on effect for people and local economies. Consequences for families and communities will be severe due to reduced local spending and the economic vibrancy of many communities will be threatened.

“I also feel that the Government should be made aware of the wider economic development perspective as a result of any cuts to Council budgets. Any further reductions in funding for Councils, combined with an expectation that statutory services such as education and social care are maintained, can only mean a disproportionate reduction in discretionary services such as economic development.

“Councils help thousands of businesses to start or grow every year, creating jobs in the process. A reduction in that support can only mean much less opportunity for job creation, a reduced opportunity to tackle inequality. This will have a detrimental impact on the local economies affected, especially in many areas still suffering from the financial downturn.”

Backing the words of the COSLA President, Fife Council Leader Cllr David Ross said: “A cut of the same proportion as last year (3.5 per cent) would result in well over 300 jobs being lost within Fife Council. David O’Neill is right, the Scottish Government has to be made aware of the wider ramifications of yet another substantial cut in funding for local government – a cut to local government is a cut to jobs and economic development.

“Reductions in economic development locally in Fife, mirror a reduction in spend by national agencies which has already delivered a significant reduction in expenditure in Fife at a time of great uncertainty. This double whammy has a worse effect on our most needy communities and many of our most needy communities are already at breaking point.”


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