It starts with a six month campaign to build up the bleakest position imaginable on the horizon with the big bad SNP Government on the receiving the blame for the impending doom. Then come budget day the Administration leader claims they have performed miracles to preserve jobs and services.
This year Martin listed a whole host of policy u-turns by the administration and spend commitments that he attributed to the ability to raise Council Tax by 3%.
It was pointed out that with the Council Tax Freeze Falkirk Council received an additional £1.8m while the 3% Council Tax rise amounted to an additional £1.7m.
The list of u-turns performed by the Labour / Tory Administration include,
- The use of £.3.3m of Reserves when in previous years they had ridiculed the SNP for proposing to use a fraction of that figure.
- Remove the threat of closure of Community Halls, they themselves ordered this time last year.
- Restore the free after 3pm to parking charges around Falkirk Town Centre, they abolished two years ago.
- Restore grants to several local bodies they had cut in previous years.
- Restore a free Special Uplift per household after they abolished these three years ago.
SNP Leader, Cecil Meiklejohn pointed out that the budget was not about the right to raise Council Tax but the generosity of the settlement from the SNP Government and the dramatic change in direction on the sue of reserves.
In a speech that drew a round of applause she demonstrated a dignity sadly lacking in the contributions of the Labour members in particular whose MSP’s voted against the SNP Holyrood Budget that, had they got their way, would have resulted in £4.6million less coming to Falkirk Council.