MP hits out at ‘unbelievable shambles’ in deciding Moray settlement

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MORAY IS STILL receiving a poor deal from the Scottish Government despite their being forced to accede to Scottish Greens demands and increase the settlement to the region.

That is according to Moray’s MP who is calling for an overhaul on the way the Council is financed after what he has described as being “an unbelievable shambles” over the last few weeks.

Douglas Ross said that despite the £2.7million increase in their funding, which takes their settlement into line with last year, they still face an unprecedented financial crisis of depleting reserves and increasing demands.

The MP said: “Moray Council is facing an unprecedented financial crisis with its reserves forecast to haemorrhage away over the next year or two. In that context this last-minute offer from Derek Mackay is, of course, welcome.

“But it represents no more than 1% of the Council’s budget and is nothing more than a sticking plaster. It is shocking that the offer comes just 14 days before the Council is due to set its budget. How can any business operate like that?

“The UK government delivered a budget that gave a further £2billion to the SNP Scottish Government so they really had to increase their offer to local councils – but it is clear that local authorities across the country are facing difficult choices in the next few weeks.”

Mr Ross revealed that earlier this week he had written to Derek Mackay and the chief executive of COSLA seeking changes to the financial formula by which Moray Council receives its allocation.

He said: “We must not see next year a repeat of the unbelievable shambles of the last few weeks. The people of Moray who depend on council service and the staff of Moray Council who deliver the services deserve much better than this.”