EAST Lothian Council’s budget for 2024-25 represents more of the same financial mismanagement from Labour. That’s why my council colleagues voted against it.

Labour have been the largest party on the council for over five decades and have presided over the council having one of the highest rates of borrowing per head in the UK. Yes, much of this is down to the SNP cutting the budgets, but it’s also Labour making poor decisions.

An alternative budget presented by Conservative councillors would have resulted in significant savings through the closure of bureaucratic area partnerships, reduced managers at council headquarters, savings made through opposing the rollout of town centre parking charges, as well as abandoning the £109 million Musselburgh Flood Protection Scheme and pressing for a fairer funding settlement for East Lothian by retaining the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities’ funding floor to keep £2.3 million of funding meant for East Lothian. These savings would have allowed for a £1.25 million investment to education services, as well as avoiding £6.5 million of additional borrowing.

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In East Lothian, one-third of P4s can’t read at the appropriate level and 28 per cent do not have maths skills at the appropriate level.

The Conservative budget would have also ensured the protection of frontline services such as reversing Labour’s plan to permanently close Macmerry Recycling Centre, protecting libraries from closure and preventing the withdrawal of police from our streets.

Unfortunately, it looks like we will be seeing more of the same mismanagement of county services.

If you have concerns about this or other matters, I will be hosting surgeries at Tesco Haddington with Councillor George McGuire from noon on Monday. No appointment is necessary.