Below is a joint response from to Steve Cardownie’s column from myself & Cllr Gordon Munro.
Your columnist’s concerns for the Capital Coalition focuses on the wrong people. Even those who stood under the SNP banner last year are not happy. Indeed, he ignores the fact that three councillors have left the SNP since last May – two of them due to key decisions the group made. Furthermore, discipline is such that the group has just enrolled its third Whip. He deliberately ignores the fact the SNP Scottish Government have given a bigger cut to Councils (7.1%) than the Scottish Government have received from Westminster (1.3%).
Once again he ignores the fact that the coalition agreement states “ The partnership will campaign against austerity in all its forms and will lobby both the Westminster and the Scottish Government to ensure that local services are adequately funded.”
As Labour Councillors, we are working end austerity and call on others to do the same.
However, there are those in the Council who are content to remain silent in the face of the funding crisis which is set to have a significant impact of our schools. Indeed, as your columnist makes clear, there are even those that view opposing cuts to education in our capital as “openly attacking the Scottish Government”.
In 2015 when the nationalists were led by former Councillor Sandy Howat the group put city before party. In response to the budget cut that year in a press release he told the SNP Government that the “harsh reality is that this will translate to real job cuts that hit real families, in real communities throughout our capital city. Everyone will be hurt by this”.
This is the message we are sending to the SNP Government again in order to oppose “austerity in all its forms”.