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SPENDING PLANS GOOD NEWS FOR EDUCATION - COSLA

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Spending plans announced by Scottish finance minister Jack ...
Spending plans announced by Scottish finance minister Jack

McConnell have been given a guarded welcome by COSLA.

COSLA president Norman Murray said that the extra£51m for education

was good news, but added: 'The Scottish executive has to sit down with local government and discuss exactly how this money will be provided and how it is to be used.

'We believe it must be provided directly to councils and that the executive has to trust us to use the money wisely and direct it to where it is most needed - after all, education is one of the shared priorities between central and local government.'

Cllr Murray warned that councils would still face problems in budgets: 'There is no change in policy from the executive on pay, so councils will still have to fund pay awards internally - this is one issue we will be following up with the finance minister.

'And while there is funding for the prioritised services, other services will suffer because of this. Councils face difficult decisions over the coming months in setting their budgets for next year.'

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