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Reassurance given over council bankruptcy fears

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By Fiona Reid
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Reassurance given over council bankruptcy fears

FEARS that Dumfries and Galloway Council is close to bankruptcy have been allayed.

At this week’s gathering of the Full Council, Stranraer Councillor Tommy Sloan, a former leader of the local authority, said he felt the public should be made aware of the severity of their financial situation.

He said that he has been concerned about the budget for years and commented: “This council is virtually on the edge of bankruptcy.

“How many people round this table have used that word in terms of the council budget, because there’s no reason not to?

“Our staff are struggling, we are struggling, let the people out there know that we are struggling and just how close to bankruptcy we are.”

The current leader of the council, Dr Elaine Murray, echoed his comments and shared his fear.

She said: “I certainly agree that we need to be honest about the problems the council face if we are subject to any more cuts.”

But they were given assurances from head of finance and procurement Paul Garrett, who insisted things were not so dire.

He said: “I can understand Cllr Sloan’s comments on the pressure on the council and on council services.

“In terms of the terminology, I’m quite keen to make the point that the council is actually, in a short to medium term basis, on a sound financial footing.”

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