Councils in cash flow talks

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GLASGOW and East Renfrewshire city councils are working towards an agreement to secure their financial future.

The city deal, proposed by GCC, involves all Clyde Valley councils and would, in theory, allow for more major infrastructure schemes creating jobs and employment, with council leaders operating with greater freedom.

For East Renfrewshire, possible projects could include an upgrade of Junction 4 of M77 and improved bus routes to Glasgow city centre.

GCC is currently working with KPMG consultants to examine how a joint infrastructure fund could be established.

Councillor Gordon Matheson, leader of GCC, said: “The City Deal proposal is the type of initiative that would encourage growth in a way that will make the most of our strengths and deliver benefits for the city and region.”

However, councillor Gordon Wallace, leader of the opposition in East Renfrewshire, has his doubts.

He said: “If the recent furore surrounding the George Square facelift is not enough, then surely any remaining hope that this will be anything other than a disaster for the East Renfrewshire tax payer was lost following last week’s Lab/SNP Cabinet Paper suggesting a tram line be constructed from Newton Mearns through Giffnock.”

However, fellow Conservative David Meikle, a Pollokshields councillor, supports the idea of more resources and financial freedoms in the hands of councils.

He said: “I welcome where possible localism and the devolution of as much decision making to councils.

“I hope that this proposal can proceed and I look forward to further details being made available.”