Kate Forbes MSP has welcomed news that drastic cuts on Highland Council funding for third sector organisations have been blocked pending further discussion.
Yesterday (26 October) members of the council’s Education, Children and Adult Services Committee voted by 11 to eight to implement cuts of over 80 per cent to youth groups.
However, this morning (27 October) a notice of motion from SNP councillors, was tabled – effectively blocking the cuts until the issue takes centre stage at a special meeting of Highland Council later in the year.
Kate Forbes, MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch, said: “I am delighted that the SNP and others have submitted a motion to block the cuts proposed by the Education, Children and Adult Services Committee until they are considered in more detail at a special meeting.
“The scale of the reductions, with some of them at 80 per cent of the budget, is massive.
“It is important that all avenues and alternatives are explored, so that organisations and village halls in Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch don’t face such brutal cuts.”
The Education, Children and Adult Services Committee had approved proposals for its future revenue budget – including the agreement of funding allocations for third sector, culture and leisure services.
It had agreed that funding to groups like Youth Highland, the Boys Brigade and the Scouts would drop from £79,834 in 2016/17 to £13,435 in 2018/19 – a drastic cut of 83 per cent.
Similarly, the allocation for village halls was reduced from £152,000 to £50,000 – a reduction of more than two-thirds.
It is understood that a special meeting of the full council will discuss the issue on 10 November.