COUNCIL chiefs will today accuse the Scottish Government of imposing “devastating” cuts to communities.

Yesterday the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (Cosla) said the SNP administration is “misleading” communities by announcing that it will provide an additional £495 million for local government in this year’s Budget.

The spending plan – drawn up without detailed plans from the Treasury – was pushed forward by Westminster’s decision to shift its Budget and is currently undergoing parliamentary scrutiny.

But Cosla says the country’s 32 local authorities will be left £95m short due to £590m of policy commitments they are expected to deliver.

This shortfall sum is said to rise to £300m when inflation is included – money which it is said could hit attempts to ease child poverty, tackle climate change and improve local economies. It is claimed that the Scottish Government’s own priorities will be “at risk” unless more funding is delivered.

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Today Cosla’s resources spokesperson, councillor Gail Macgregor, will take that case to Holyrood’s Local Government and Communities Committee as it examines Budget plans.

She will be joined by David Robertson of the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives, and Jim Boyle of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy.

Yesterday Macgregor, of Dumfries and Galloway Council, said: “This draft budget will impact on jobs, frontline services and local government’s ability to address inclusive economic growth, child poverty, wellbeing and climate change and does not address the growing demand most councils are facing in relation to services.”

Cosla called the draft capital budget for councils “devastating”, claiming it amounts to a real-terms cut of £130m.

Earlier this month,Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell – who will also appear before the committee today – said the Budget provides a “fair settlement for our partners in local government and supports vital public services across Scotland”.

Yesterday Cosla president Councillor Alison Evison said the sector was struggling after years of austerity cuts, stating: “Recent benchmarking statistics have shown that 10,000 FTE [full-time equivalent] jobs have been lost in local government since 2010-11. The impact of this on communities is real and cannot continue.

“Make no mistake, councils and the services which communities rely upon will be at risk as a result of this Budget.”

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said councils will receive £11.3 billion in 2020-21 and have £1.4bn reserves “that can be used at their discretion to support local services”.