Jo has criticised East Dunbartonshire Council for targeting its budget cuts at vital community services.
At a meeting of the Council on Thursday, Councillors voted to approve the Labour-Tory administration’s budget cuts. Liberal Democrat Councillors opposed the budget, which includes the closure of community halls, closure of public toilets and cutting library opening hours. The Council will cut funding for graffiti removal, cutting grass and weeding shrub beds, and will make no capital investment in Mugdock Country park this year.
The Council has reversed its decision to reduce the amount paid by elderly and vulnerable people in charges, controversially introduced last year, for help with shopping, laundry and daily tasks around the home.
Many more parents will have to pay for their children to travel to school, as the the previous policy of free travel for those living more than one mile (for primary school children) or two miles (for secondary school children) from school has been increased to two miles or three miles respectively.
Commenting, Jo said:
“All those who rely on help around the house will be outraged that the Council has reversed its position on care charges and raised them to their previous level.
“Expecting secondary school children to walk almost 3 miles to school is unfair, and will only increase the burden on parents and create more congestion and pollution around our schools.
“Our public halls are much-valued community facilities and a great many groups and organisations in East Dunbartonshire will be disappointed if their meeting places are closed.
“Although cuts inevitably need to be made to Council spending, the Labour-Tory administration has chosen to slash some of the most valued services and looked to the most vulnerable people to make ends meet in their budget.”