Ford critical of Fife Labour stance on DRR

DRR infographicDiscretionary Rates Relief (DRR), which has now been devolved to area committees, was a central item of this month’s meeting of the Glenrothes Area Committee.

However, during the discussions on this item, it was discovered that, since the decentralisation of Discretionary Rates Relief, the budget given to area committees to fund this has been cut by around 40%.

Councillors of the current Labour administration defended the cuts claiming that they were a result of John Swinney’s latest Scottish Government budget. But, myself and my SNP colleagues have since highlighted that if our alternative budget had been accepted, any underspends of over £7.5 million by the Council this financial year would have been split equally between restoring the council reserves and Local Community Planning budgets for each area committee including Glenrothes.

It is astonishing that only a month ago, when there was an alternative on the table to ensure local area committees would receive more money, the administration did not support it.

Now, with the decentralisation of Discretionary Rates Relief, and the realisation that this is going to put a lot of extra pressure on our local area budgets, the local councillors, who are part of the administration, are trying to redirect the blame.

On page four of Fife Labour’s 2012 manifesto, they said that “Labour will focus on what the council is doing instead of blaming others for its own actions”, but currently this isn’t being demonstrated. They appear to want the power but not the responsibility that goes with it.

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