Stornoway budget consultation meeting tonight

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One of the last in the series of Comhairle budget consultation meetings will take place in Stornoway tonight (Thursday).

Taking place at 6.30pm in the Comhairle Chambers, this is an opportunity for the public to have their say on where savings are made in the Comhairle budget.

With more than £5million to slash from the budgets, the majority of councillors took part in a scoring exercise which has led to a list of possible cuts being presented to the public.

The same exercise is now available on the Comhairle website for people to try out for themselves.

Here in the Stornoway Gazette office we had a go at the same scoring exercise and had some very different results, with some saving the 5million plus quite easily making ruthless cuts while others found it more difficult.

In a statement before tonight’s meeting, the Comhairle’s SNP Group stated: “In advance of Thursday nights public meeting in Stornoway the SNP Group on Comhairle nan Eilean Siar calls on the administration to use a recently received BCCI dividend payment - and its own contingency fund - to mitigate the worst of the cuts being presented to the public.

“While we accept it is the responsibility of the Labour/Independent administration to set the budget, we strongly recommend that the recent £1.1 million dividend from the BCCI debacle be used over the next two years rather than spread over the remaining four years of the present Comhairle as is being currently proposed.

“We also call for at least £1 million of the Comhairle’s contingency fund to be used to reduce the level of cuts being proposed.

“Taking £2.1 million out of the cuts currently being proposed will go some way to addressing the concerns being voiced at the various public meetings leading up to the one in Stornoway.”

The last meeting will take place in Ravenspoint in Kershader on December 4 at 7.30pm.