Glasgow & West Scotland

Argyll and Bute Council's 4.9% cut eased by extra cash

The council which faced the largest cut in funding from the Scottish government is to receive some extra money.

Argyll and Bute Council faced a 4.9% cut compared to a Scottish average of 2.6% for other authorities.

Following a review, the council will now see its funding drop by £7.6m instead of £11.5m in the year ahead.

Two other councils are also to receive some extra funding. West Dunbartonshire will receive almost £1m while East Lothian is to get almost £150,000.

The one-off extra payment to Argyll and Bute was made after ministers recognised it was facing a heavier than expected cut in funding.

The authority initially faced a larger than average cut because of the way the formula used to allocate money between different local authorities works.

'Unduly harsh'

Following the change, the council will now have a total budget of £260m.

It recently aroused local anger over proposals to close 25 primary schools but the plan was scaled back and now affects 10 schools.

Council leader Dick Walsh said he was "delighted" that the initial cut in funding had been reduced.

He said: "We have said from the outset that Argyll and Bute Council's settlement was unduly harsh - almost double the average percentage reduction for all Scottish councils.

"Over the next few weeks we will consider how this money will be spent to deliver the council's priorities in a sustainable way."

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