This week the West Lothian Council budget for 2022/23 was finally agreed. The final document has revealed that yet again, the SNP administration at Holyrood have cut essential grant funding leaving West Lothian Council with an £11.7 million hole to fill in order to deliver core services.
Although West Lothian Council have agreed a further 3% Council Tax Rate hike for residents across the region, this won’t be nearly enough to plug the gap left by SNP cuts. A full 80% of local authority funding comes in the form of grants from Holyrood. Over the past 15 years, there have been systematic and ever deeper cuts which have hampered council’s efforts to deliver for local communities across Scotland.
While residents deal with the cost-of-living crisis, the prospect of soaring energy bills and ongoing uncertainty, we’re also now faced with increased council tax bills and, here in Linlithgow at least, very little to show for the extra financial stress. There have been some impressive headline announcements this week about infrastructure spending across West Lothian. Sadly, very little of it appears to be earmarked for us here in Linlithgow.
The Liberal Democrats have always championed strong local democracy, we believe that what a local community can do for itself is best left to that community, without interference from central government. Unfortunately, the SNP believe the opposite and have been taking power away from local communities for over a decade, leaving us powerless to adapt to our community’s needs. If you believe that Linlithgow deserves better representation on West Lothian Council, then vote Liberal Democrat on 5th May 2022 and together we can change things.