The new leader of Argyll and Bute Council has insisted that it was “not a difficult choice” to back his administration’s 2013-14 budget plans.
Councillor James Robb, who succeeded his SNP colleague Roddy McCuish as council leader at the start of Thursday’s budget meeting in Lochgilphead, put forward a £5.8 million package of savings which will see nearly a hundred full-time equivalent posts lost in the next 12 months - and puts 670 posts at risk over the next seven years.
The leader of the opposition, Dunoon independent Dick Walsh, proposed an alternative budget which would not have proceeded with several of the ruling group’s proposed cuts - but which it was claimed would simply have put off cuts until a later date.
Cllr Robb said: “The choice was simple: a budget months in development, subject to weeks of scrutiny and consultation and based on an independent financial model which has been public since October or a last minute alternative budget based on a still secret financial model developed by a politician.
“Not a difficult choice for those who have the long term interests of Argyll and Bute at heart.”