Red-faced Nicola Sturgeon threatened with COURT ACTION over multi-million pound cuts


Red-faced Nicola Sturgeon threatened with COURT ACTION over multi-million pound cuts

SNP firebrand Nicola Sturgeon is at war with some of Scotland’s biggest councils after they threatened court action over imposed multi-million pound cuts. The Scottish leader faces being hauled before a judge for allegedly excluding rebel councils from formal talks on the financing of local government.

Labour councils are preparing to serve Mrs Sturgeon with a judicial writ, claiming the Scottish independence supporter has bypassed a quarter of the Scottish population by imposing cuts to funding without entering into a discussion on the matter. Glasgow, Aberdeen, South Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire, all of which broke away from Cosla, Scotland’s main local government body, over funding from Holyrood, said they had sought legal opinion and would take the matter to the Court of Session unless ministers changed their stance on negotiating with the four councils.

The government has said that while it is required by law to have dialogue with councils it will only negotiate with Cosla on council funding, including cash for health or education.SNP insiders have also accused the local authorities of wasting public money on “pointless legal action” instead of frontline services.

Jenny Laing, leader of Aberdeen City Council, wrote a strongly worded letter to Mrs Sturgeon, accusing her of post-Brexit political grandstanding at the expense of the residents of the four areas, adding that her Glasgow’s Southside was “seriously affected by your Government’s position”.
The SNP boss is facing criticism for allegedly not consulting some councils about the cuts

Mark Macmillan, leader of Renfrewshire Council, said: “The Government’s talks on the next funding settlement have already begun without us and in these we expect some of the biggest budget cuts ever seen.“If she maintains her current plan to pass down these cuts without one single meaningful conversation, she is effectively turning her back on 25 per cent of the population, including those in her own constituency.

“This is why we have sought independent legal advice and after careful consideration we have grounds to serve the First Minister and her Government with a judicial review writ at the Court of Session in Edinburgh.” But one senior SNP source said: “If these council leaders really want to have a genuine dialogue this is a very odd way to go about it.

“These should be focusing their attention on protecting frontline services instead of threatening to use public money on pointless legal action.”

When the four councils broke away in 2014 to form the Scottish Local Government Partnership, Ms Laing argued the new group would have the freedom to negotiate a better deal on funding for council tax payers. SOURCE