Jo has responded to a new report which predicts that East Dunbartonshire will suffer the worst long term effects of the recession of any local authority in Scotland.
The Insight Report by data management company Experian UK ranks East Dunbartonshire at number 8 in its ‘Top 20 local authorities most impacted by recession’ list, the highest in all of Scotland. Their research has looked at the long term impacts of the recession on local economies and the capacity of local councils to respond to the crisis by offering public services.
East Dunbartonshire’s ranking as the local authority with the 8th “severest impact” in the UK, and the worst in Scotland, is based upon the risk of long term unemployment, potential for economic growth and financial stress on households.
This comes on the back of news last week that the Scottish Government has cut funding to local councils, reducing East Dunbartonshire Council’s budget by £4.1 million.
Commenting, Jo said:
“This news is deeply concerning, and raises serious questions about how the economy is being managed at a national and local level. It is particularly worrying given the recent news that the Scottish Government has cut East Dunbartonshire’s budget by £4.1 million. In the middle of a recession people are more reliant on public services and any cuts to those services made necessary by this budget cut will have a real impact.
“East Dunbartonshire Council must look at how it can best use its resources to help families and businesses. The lack of economic resilience which this report highlights suggests that the Council is not well prepared to deal with the effects of the recession. The Council has one of the worst records in Scotland for paying its local suppliers within its agreed 30 day term, and although a motion was passed back in March calling for regular updates on this we have still seen no evidence of improvement.
“The Council and the Scottish Government must take urgent action to prevent East Dunbartonshire from bearing long term scars from this economic crisis.”
Official figures published by the Scottish Parliament Information Centre revealed that the share of the Scottish Government budget allocated to local government has fallen from 34.7 per cent in 2006-07 to 33.9 per cent in 2010-11, or a total of £270 million.
East Dunbartonshire receives 1.5% of the budget for local authorities, which means it would have received an extra £4.1million if funding for 2010-2011 had been maintained at 2006-7 levels.