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Aberdeen council leaders say ‘no fat left’ and plead for more government funds

Co-leaders Jenny Laing and Douglas Lumsden at the Smithfield site
Co-leaders Jenny Laing and Douglas Lumsden at the Smithfield site

The leader of Aberdeen said “all 32 councils can’t be wrong” as he renewed his plea for the Scottish Government to grant them more funding.

Ahead of today’s crucial vote on the budget, Aberdeen City Council’s co-leader Douglas Lumsden warned “all the fat has been trimmed” and that services will be “badly affected” if the funding settlement is not reconsidered.

The authority is facing a reported £45million of cuts.

Mr Lumsden said: “All the fat has been trimmed and there is no more low-hanging fruit. We really can’t take anymore.

“Unless more funding is given then our services will be badly affected. All 32 councils can’t be wrong on this.

“The cuts to local government affect the most vulnerable people in our communities. If a library or swimming pool closes, it is the people who need these most who lose out.”


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Fellow co-leader, Aberdeen Labour’s Jenny Laing, added: “It is time for the Scottish Government to face facts and provide Aberdeen City Council with the financial settlement it needs and deserves to provide frontline services and protect jobs.”

Opposition Liberal Democrat group leader Ian Yuill said: “The settlement proposed is bad news for councils across Scotland, and will hit Aberdeen hard.”

But opposition SNP group leader Stephen Flynn accused the ruling administration of playing “grievance politics” and claimed their sums did not add up.

He said: “The reality is that the Tories appear to want to cut taxes as the same time as increasing spending, while Labour don’t even seem capable of putting forward an alternative Scottish budget. The public will see right through the grievance politics of co-leaders.

“The draft budget is one which delivers continued investment in our NHS, housing and Early Years provision and that is something which every MSP should want to support.”

The support of the Greens in Holyrood will prove crucial for the SNP to pass the budget, but Aberdeen party co-convener said the nationalists had been “stubborn” on their demands for better local government funding.

He said: “We’ve been consistent in our negotiating position since last year.

“We’ve been open to ideas on how this can be done but, so far, have been met with stubborn resistance.”

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