West Lothian set for cuts over £30m budget defecit

MAJOR cuts to services are expected to be made in West Lothian after the council announced it was facing a £30 million budget deficit.

John McGinty

The Labour-run authority must address the multi-million pound black hole over the next three years, against a backdrop of more than £40 million cuts made by the local authority over the last five years.

West Lothian’s proposals include cuts ranging from nursery provision to public transport and social care.

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Council leader John McGinty said: “No-one should underestimate the difficult decisions that lie ahead.

“We don’t have any choice in that we must reduce spending and increase out income so that we can meet our £30.4 million budget gap.”

West Lothian Council has started a public consultation into how it can make savings.

Experts have warned that local government will feel the pinch in a post-referendum Scotland.

Professor Richard Kerley, a local government expert at Queen Margaret University, said that many other councils were likely to join West Lothian in announcing large budget deficits over the next few months.