Letters to the Editor: MSP hits out at Council cuts to school and calls for funding clarity

Written by Scott Campbell.
Published at 21:05 GMT on Wednesday, 31st October 2012.

IN A letter to Cumbernauld Media, Clare Adamson, SNP MSP for Central Scotland, the MSP has hit out at North Lanarkshire Council’s proposed school closures, adding that their suggestions of funding cuts “needs to be clarified”.

Dear Sir,

North Lanarkshire Council is conducting a consultation exercise; “The Way Ahead, Let’s talk about our future”, seeking the views of the public on the spending priorities set by the Council. On page 7 of the document which details the spending in 2011 -2012 it states that the Scottish government provide £549.17 million, representing 58% of the budget. One might expect that this figure represents the full amount of funding allocated to North Lanarkshire Council by the Scottish Government. However, in answer to a Parliamentary Question posed by one of my colleagues, the Scottish Government states that they allocated £652.2 million in revenue, £28.5 Million in capital funding and that additional sums were added over this spending period of £3.6 million revenue funding. At a time when it is consulting over school closures can North Lanarkshire Council explain what has happened to £139.13 million of Scottish Government funding ? Is this money included in “Non domestic rates” figure and represents funding for the Small Business Bonus or is it the Scottish Government’s contribution to the Council tax freeze in the “Council Tax“ or is it in “Other Grants” as ring fenced grants from the Scottish Government? I think in the interests of transparency this needs to be clarified.

Yours sincerely,

Clare Adamson MSP