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LABOUR TO JOIN PROTESTS AS SCOTS FUNDING CRISES MOUNT

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The Labour party is to start a campaign today against local government funding cuts to Scottish local councils, rep...
The Labour party is to start a campaign today against local government funding cuts to Scottish local councils, reports The Herald (p2).

Local government spokesman John McCallion believes that it is not too late to persuade the Scottish secretary to juggle his budgets to find more money for local authorities, says the paper.

Shadow Scottish secretary George Robertson said: 'Scotland is about to be plunged into chaos. We face the prospect of massive job losses, services throughout our communities being devastated and enormous hikes on out council tax bills.'

Meanwhile, councils, unions, students, and parent groups have backed a march and rally against education cuts planned by the Educational Institute for Scotland in Edinburgh on 24 February.

And The Scotsman reports (p7) that the Association of Directors of Social Work in Scotland has warned that residential homes and specialist services, may have to be withdrawn across the country as a result of funding cuts.

Sandy Cameron, vice president of the association says that the situation is 'serious'.

In Edinburgh, The Scotsman reports, unions have failed to win assurances that the city council will avoid compulsory redundancies as the authority considers a package of £30m cuts.

On top of everything else, the severe weather is making matters worse for unitary authorities as regional councils dip into money they had planned to hand over to pay for gritting, snow clearing, and other problems.

For example, reports The Scotsman, Dumfries and Galloway say that £1m intended for transfer to new authorities could all be spent unless the Scottish Office provides help and Borders RC is forecasting a deficit of £750,000 caused by the weather.

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