In this time of crisis our communities are rallying round and doing what they can to support people. Our councils are trying very hard to deliver services in our communities but face massive financial pressures. Underfunding councils will effectively mean cuts to communities which are already struggling in this crisis.
The Scottish Government must support councils by providing them with the entirety of the additional funding for local government made available through Barnett consequentials.
Scotland’s already underfunded councils are under unprecedented strain due to the coronavirus pandemic, with demand for services increasing drastically and many of the traditional sources of self-generated income unavailable.
Local government is in the front line of the fight against coronavirus and for this reason it is imperative that it receives all of the support that it is entitled to from the Scottish Government.
It is vital that our councils are financially stable and robust not just to get us through the pandemic, but to get our communities back on track, and eradicate the inequalities that the have been cruelly exposed in the past few weeks. That means doing things differently, continuing to support local communities, but looking at how the co-operative model of working together could help build fairer and more resilient communities, transform our local economies and create the jobs people need.
Sarah Boyack MSP is the Scottish Labour & Co-operative MSP for Lothian.
She is the Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Local Government.