COUNCIL BUDGET: Alternative would provide real boosts

SNP leader Cecil Meiklejohn put forward an amended budget which she said would revitalise the area
SNP leader Cecil Meiklejohn put forward an amended budget which she said would revitalise the area

A budget to boost jobs and lift the local economy was the alternative proposed by the SNP.

The Opposition proposed prudential borrowing of up to £25 million to finance projects which it said were important to the area and its citizens.

To meet the costs of these, SNP members wanted to set up a new fund with the £1.6 million from the Spend to Save fund, along with the £400,000 surpluses returned from the police and fire boards.

Major initiatives they wanted to undertake were:

Completion of the Denny Eastern Access Road - £7 million.

Town centre regeneration and development of a villages and smaller centres strategy – £5 million.

Bringing forward the next phases of the Asset Business Property Portfolio Programme – £2 million.

Construction of a school hall at Blackness Primary School – £500,000.

Blackness coastal footpath – £135,000.

Key infrastructure work, including roads projects to aid economy – £3 million.

Councillor Cecil Meiklejohn, SNP group leader, said: “The policy of the Scottish Government to prioritise capital investment as a means of stimulating growth in the economy has been proven to be a major success nationally.

“The Scottish economy is growing while the UK economy is about to enter recession for the third time. Unemployment is reducing and business confidence is slowly creeping up again.

“We can enhance that record by simply targeting major capital projects locally such as the Denny Eastern Access Road and Town Centre Regeneration thus creating not only construction jobs and training opportunities but also improving our infrastructure in away that will attract external investment.

The SNP also proposed giving priority given to “quality of life issues” which would also bring in income, including:

nProvision of three new 3G sports pitches costing £3 million and bringing in an estimated income of £250,000 annually.

nInvestment in other sports and leisure facilities, costing £2 million with a target of generating £95,000 annually.

Mrs Meiklejohn added: “The challenge for the current Labour/Tory coalition Administration is to match our vision and ambition.”

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