Members of the Labour Group on East Lothian Council have joined colleagues from around Scotland at the Scottish Parliament to protest against the SNP Scottish Government’s disproportionate cuts to local authorities.
Preston, Seton, Gosford councillor, Margaret Libberton, Musselburgh councillors Andy Forrest and John McNeil, and Fa’side councillors Jim Gillies and Shamin Akhtar attended the protest, which was organised by the Labour Groups at North and South Lanarkshire.
The protest and rally highlighted the fact that the services provided by councils are under attack from two fronts, cuts from the Conservatives at Westminster and a second set of cuts from the SNP at Holyrood.
County MSP Iain Gray joined the councillors outside Holyrood, as did former MP, Fiona O’Donnell. Well over 100 Labour councillors from authorities across Scotland also attended the rally.
Speaking after the event, Cllr Margaret Libberton, Chair of the Labour Group on East Lothian Council, said:
“We felt it was important to attend this protest and show our opposition to the SNP Scottish Government’s disproportionate cuts to local councils. They claim to be an anti-austerity party, but the cuts they are forcing on councils are hitting the most vulnerable in our communities.
"These are more than just cuts to councils – they are cuts to communities. This SNP imposed austerity has to stop now.”
Iain Gray MSP added:
“I was glad to join colleagues from East Lothian and across Scotland at their rally against SNP cuts. Scottish Government Ministers have imposed a six per cent cut on council budgets, while their funding from Westminster has only reduced by three per cent.
"This unfair treatment of local authorities is impacting on local communities and making a mockery of SNP claims that they are against austerity. I’m pleased that it is Labour councillors who are standing up against these cuts and saying enough is enough.”