Funding cut leads opposition to ask difficult questions

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‘PARTY politics’ are to blame for East Renfrewshire council losing more than £4 million, according to the leader of the opposition.

Conservative Gordon Wallace told The Extra: “East Renfrewshire has been denied £4.13m of Scottish Government funding for 2015/16 as a result of a decision taken by Jim Fletcher and his Labour party colleagues in September.

“The decision went against the advice of Cosla finance officers to re-run the distribution formula, based on need, which would have given East Ren an allocation of £174m.”

ERC will face a 2.38 per cent cut after a vote against a change to individual council allocations in 2015/16.

COSLA leaders will meet today (Friday) to discuss the impact of the decision.

Mr Wallace has described this as councillor Fletcher’s “opportunity to show residents whether his allegiances lie — to Glasgow or East Renfrewshire”.

The Labour man accused councillor Wallace of hypocrisy. He said: “It is his Conservative government which is imposing such drastic cuts on local government. He should direct his concerns about funding to the chancellor of the exchequer.”

A COSLA spokesman has defended the decision making process. He said: “In all the years COSLA has existed it has been practice to decide distribution without the resultant figures being available. .

“Now figures are unhelpfully out in the open we have a situation of winners and losers.”