Budget constraints across the district

Councillors have approved controversial budget plans which include millions of pounds worth of savings over the years ahead
Councillors have approved controversial budget plans which include millions of pounds worth of savings over the years ahead
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Residents of West Lothian and Falkirk Council areas are facing tough times after millions of pounds worth of cuts were approved.

Councillors in West Lothian agreed £20 million in savings over the next two years and Falkirk Council accepted £25 million in cuts in its 2016–17 budget.

Job losses is the main blow in West Lothian with 141 full-time positions due to go, while in Falkirk, rents will increase by 3.6 per cent from April 1.

The leader of West Lothian Council, John McGinty, said the council had been forced to make changes because of SNP Government budget cuts.

He said: “Yet again the SNP in West Lothian have chosen to protect the interests of their SNP political masters in Holyrood rather than stand up for the people of West Lothian.

“The cuts being forced on the Council by the SNP Scottish Government will affect the way the Council is able to provide services and forces us to ask people to pay a bit more for some things.”

SNP councillor David Tait said: “The West Lothian Council budget is largely a reflection of the fact that Scotland has little or no control over its resources and therefore has to make do with an ever-diminishing handout from Westminster.

“The inevitable outcome, from this administration, is that the only item on the agenda is ‘cuts’ with no thought as to how limited resources could be put to better use.”

The council has vowed to protect the most vulnerable and has set aside £1million to support parents, young people and vulnerable groups.

In the Falkirk district, householders will now have to wait four weeks before their green and brown bins are emptied and will have to pay more for facilities provided by Falkirk Community Trust.