Scotland

Public Spending Debates

As UK Chancellor George Osborne prepares to announce the biggest cut in government spending for decades, BBC Scotland has held four debates around the country to discuss what the impact could be.

NORTH EAST

Education and proposals to close or merge Aberdeen secondary schools topped the agenda at a BBC Scotland debate on public spending in Aberdeen.

Held in Aberdeen Grammar - not one of the schools under threat - other topics discussed included health and care provision for the elderly, local government costs, pensions and quangos.

The panel representing all four main political parties consisted of the SNP's Brian Adam, Conservative Alex Johnstone, Labour's Lewis Macdonald and the Lib Dem's Alison McInnes.

SOUTH WEST

Members of the public got their chance to question politicians from south west Scotland about the impact of spending cuts, on Monday evening.

Labour MP for Dumfries and Galloway, Russell Brown, and South of Scotland Tory MSP Derek Brownlee were on the panel at the Brigend Theatre in Dumfries.

Alongside them were three senior members of Dumfries and Galloway Council: Council administration leader Ivor Hyslop (Tory) and councillors Rob Davidson (SNP) and Sandra McDowall (Lib Dems).

The event was chaired by Willie Johnston of BBC Scotland.

HIGHLANDS

School closures was the hot topic at a BBC Scotland debate on public spending in Inverness.

Held in the chambers of Highland Council's headquarters, an audience of about 50 people also heard views on public sector contracts going to companies outwith the Highlands.

The panel had representatives from the four main political parties - Labour's Jimmy Gray, Liberal Democrat Robbie Rowantree, Conservative Jamie McGrigor and the SNP's John Finnie.

Campaigner Sheila Mackay and economist Tony Mackay were also on the panel.

THE BORDERS

Tweed Horizons in Newtown St Boswells was the venue for the Borders debate on the impact of public spending cuts.

The panellists were Scottish Borders Council's independent leader David Parker, MSPs John Lamont of the Conservatives and Christine Grahame for the SNP, Lib Dem councillor Catriona Bhatia and Labour prospective parliamentary candidate Kendryck Lloyd-Jones.

The event was chaired by BBC Scotland's Cameron Buttle.