Jamie McGrigor, Scottish Conservative MSP for the Highlands & Islands, today, 3rd February, highlighted the concerns of Argyll & Bute Councillors and residents at the budget cuts facing the area and their impact on local services.
The MSP questioned Local Government Minister Marco Biagi MSP [who is standing down at the Scottish Election in May] at today’s Question Time in the Scottish Parliament.
He also asked for the Minister to comment on specific concerns that local government core funding for Argyll & Bute’s Citizens’ Advice Bureau [CAB] network could be at risk.
Mr Biaggi said the Scottish Government’s funding settlement for Argyll & Bute and all other Scottish local authorities was ‘challenging but fair’ [the Finance Secretary’s own phrase that the minnows parrot]. He pledged to investigate the CAB funding matter and write to Jamie McGrigor.
Speaking afterwards Jamie McGrigor said: ‘My mailbag has been full recently of letters and emails from constituents in Argyll & Bute, including local community councils and parent groups, expressing real worries at the impact of the significant extra funding cuts due in Argyll & Bute next year.
‘I share the concerns about the future of core funding for Argyll & Bute’s Citizens’ Advice Bureau [CAB] network, whose services are greatly valued in communities like Lochgilphead.
‘Information provided to me suggests 69 households in Argyll & Bute each year are prevented from becoming homeless as a direct result of the work of the CAB locally. Their work therefore is saving the Council potentially hundreds of thousands of pounds each year and this must be considered fully when the Council is looking at its core funding for the CAB in Argyll & Bute.’