Here in Scotland, local government funding is a devolved matter, and therefore funds are allocated by the Scottish Government. I, like my Scottish Conservative colleagues in Holyrood, share your concern that Scottish local authorities are being subject to underinvestment that is making it harder for hardworking council staff to provide quality services to local people.
The SNP-led Scottish Government has starved local authorities of funding for several years, as part of its efforts to centralise as much power as possible in Holyrood. This is despite the fact that funding which the Scottish Government receives from the UK Government has increased in recent years, including by £2 billion in last autumn’s budget.
Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of council staff, this has led to local government services across Scotland declining. The most recent Scotland’s People Annual Report shows that Scots’ satisfaction with public services is continuing to decline, and is now considerably lower than when the SNP came into office in 2007.
I believe that it is time for the Scottish Government to stop obsessing over plans to force another independence referendum on the Scottish people, and get serious about the crisis in Scotland’s public services. Scotland deserves a government that will give local authorities the power, the freedom, and the funding to provide quality services attuned to local needs, instead of centralising everything in Holyrood.