Opposition councillors have promised Highland Council leadership a rough ride today in its first full council meeting since March 12.
The Tory group will take the administration to task over its proposals for mitigating the budget gap caused by the impact of Covid-19.
Tory group leader councillor Andrew Jarvie says the council is proposing ‘eviscerating’ cuts before tallying what existing funds and reserves, ring-fenced or otherwise, can be used.
The councillor describes one proposal, to use school fund reserves of almost £2m as ‘sickening.’
Mr Jarvie said: “The devolved school management (DSM) funds is money squirrelled away by head teachers for when they need extra resources and that time is now.”
Mr Jarvie said his group will also question the assumption the council is making that its financial gap could be close to £100m and will reviewed against the budget planned pre-Covid for this year.
“I don’t accept that we can use these assumptions to review the budget which was set in March before the crisis.
“We agree that there needs to be a new financial strategy, but you can’t review a budget which now has no value and bludgeon in their claimed £100m cuts.”
Mr Jarvie said they will be pushing for the administration to look at the ‘plethora’ of under-spent funds, including reserves.