Elaine Watterson, our candidate for Trossachs & Teith writes about the need to get the Council finances in order.
Elaine is a semi-retired Tax Adviser. She was an elected member of Callander Community Council and held the position of Secretary and Treasurer. She has been involved in many community projects including the Redevelopment of St Kessog’s and the Community Support Group.
Scottish Conservatives believes that Council finance should be open and transparent paving the way forward for all funding resources and allocations to be clear for all to see. We believe in accountability. Strengthening local democracy. Scottish Conservatives would strive to ensure that all services controlled by Stirling Council are managed as efficiently as possible and would make the right decisions for the benefit of all residents.
Council tax is both collected and spent by local government. Stirling Conservatives would not seek to raise Council Tax unless we had no other choice. But the cuts by the SNP Green Scottish Government has seen massive reduction in funding which may mean we have to accept lower levels of service provision which is unacceptable.
It therefore follows that all funding and allocation must be controlled in a cost effective way and provide value for money.
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Scottish Conservatives strongly believe in being able to provide to the taxpayer the assurance all monies raised are spent wisely. We can demonstrate where the SNP have squandered funds only too often. They have continued to fund their pet projects, continued to waste money and let costs soar without any due diligence to the costs of the provision of services.
Waste collection provides the best example of this. Stirling Council has the highest cost of any waste collection per household in Scotland. Just to be clear, this means that picking up rubbish in Stirling is more expensive than Highland Council for all it’s geographic challenges, Glasgow for it’s enormous population and Councils the same shape and size as Stirling like Angus and Moray.
Instead of dealing with the issues in the department and getting under the skin of why costs are so high, the SNP chose to cut the service.
They didn’t get into the detail of why it is expensive. They didn’t look at the level of contractors, the way management and staff work together. They didn’t listen to the frontline staff who know how to do the job better if they would only be allowed to get on with it.
They cut the service.
This is the difference between an SNP administration and a Conservative one. We will always treat Council taxpayers with respect, make sure we are spending their money as carefully as if it were our own. This is why Conservatives will make our finances more transparent, more open and bring the people of Stirling in to our confidence.