Uproar over Scots’ funding allocation

Councils have accused former Scottish executive communities
minister Margaret Curran of using “underhand tactics” and “jumping
the gun” when she announced individual councils’ allocations of
Supporting People funds this month.

Already reeling from a £30m funding cut from 2003 levels
announced in the Scottish budget, the Convention of Scottish Local
Authorities said distributing funds to individual councils without
consultation was an “ill-thought out action from people who do not
have a clue as to how services are delivered”.

Cosla president Pat Watters said:”To say that I am livid is an
understatement. Vulnerable people in every constituency will be
affected in some way by this announcement.”

Supporting People in Scotland has been allocated £406m for
2005-6 and £399m for each of the following two years. In the
second and third year, £8m will be set aside to help councils
manage changes to their services.

Curran made the announcement a day before she moved to the business
portfolio in the Scottish cabinet.

She was replaced by former health minister Malcolm Chisholm, who
was due to discuss the allocation of funds with Cosla this

Only a few councils in Scotland, including Glasgow, benefited from
the distribution formula, which was based on factors including
numbers of older people, homelessness, and the deprivation index.
Edinburgh’s funding will decline from £44m in 2004-5 to
£31.3m in 2007-8.

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