Published: 23/01/2019 18:07 - Updated: 23/01/2019 18:17

Ross blames SNP in Moray for not confronting Nicola Sturgeon

MP Douglas RossMORAY'S MP has claimed SNP councillors would rather see local facilities close than confront their own party leader.

Douglas Ross made his comments after the administration on Moray Council passed budget plans earlier today.

Measures on the cards include the closure of Lossiemouth and Keith swimming pools and all the remaining public toilets.

Cullen, Burghead, Fochabers, Tomintoul, Lossiemouth and Dufftown libraries are also facing closure, while school crossing patrollers are being axed.

Mr Ross said: “These cuts to our public services put forward by the SNP administration show they would rather see local facilities lost than stand up to Nicola Sturgeon and ask for more money for Moray.

“It will not be lost on anyone in Moray that the SNP have opposed library closures in the past, but now support them. 

They have also fought against local toilets being shut, but now propose to close them. 

"These are just some of the examples of double standards each and every SNP representative in Moray is guilty of.

“The closure of Lossiemouth and Keith swimming pools would be a bitter blow and I know how well used they are.

"Richard Lochhead says he’s fighting to stop banks closing in these two towns, but what will he do to stop these swimming pools being closed by his own SNP colleagues?"

Mr Ross pointed to research from the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICE) which states that the Scottish Government has cut spending on local government by 7.1% between 2013/14 and 2017/8.

These cuts, he says, are four times greater than the reduction in the Scottish Government’s  revenue budget over the same period.

A total of 110 council staff seem set to lose their jobs to add to the 136 job losses already announced in September.

Mr Ross “Our thoughts also have to be with the staff who have received the news that facilities where they work, and in many cases have nurtured into successes, will be closing.

"I know my Conservative colleagues in the council did their best to stop these cuts today.  It’s also so frustrating that some of these savings may actually cost more in lost revenue and at the same time the top level of managers remains untouched.

"The SNP message is clear – they will reduce the services provided to taxpayers in Moray but won’t reduce the senior management at the council.  That is simply shocking.

“I won’t accept these swingeing cuts and will redouble my efforts to secure a better deal from the Scottish Government for Moray Council.

"Now is the time for Richard Lochhead and all the SNP councillors to show their priority is to Moray and not the SNP.  They have to demand more for our area before these cuts are finalised.”

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