Scottish council body seeks urgent meeting with Nicola Sturgeon amid warning over cuts

The body representing Scotland's councils is seeking an "urgent meeting" with Nicola Sturgeon amid claims they face a £371 million real-terms cut.

Cosla has warned the settlement contained in next year's Scottish Budget will have a "detrimental impact" on core services.

It is now pressing for talks "at the highest possible level of government".

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Speaking after a meeting on Tuesday evening, Councillor Gail Macgregor, Cosla's resources spokeswoman, said: “All 32 of Scotland’s council leaders were clear last night that they owe it to their communities to take the case for a better financial settlement directly to the First Minister as a matter of urgency.

“We have already written to the First Minister and Cabinet secretary for finance and the economy [Kate Forbes] in relation to the settlement, but last night there was a real strength of feeling that we need to press for a meeting at the highest possible level of government in a bid to make government understand what this Budget will really mean in our communities, and the detrimental impact it will have on core services.”

Councillor Alison Evison, Cosla's president, said: “Many in the meeting described this settlement for local government as the worst they had seen.

"Council leaders were clear last night that we could not sit back and simply accept this and there was a real strength of feeling that enough is enough.

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“Not only do leaders consider that we have been given a real-terms cut of £371m, the local government settlement makes no provision for pay, inflation or increased demand for services, nor for the increased burden of National Insurance contributions.”

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