COUNCILLORS from the SNP failed to back up their claims Labour left them with a £400,000 “black hole” at last week’s council meeting.

Earlier in October, council leader Jonathan McColl had claimed they found an “absolute mess” left by the previous administration. And they said vital services would be at risk from the “financial mismanagement”.

Finance convener Ian Dickson insisted: “I was warned when we took office that there would be issues with the finances, but it is far worse than I had feared.”

But at last week’s West Dunbartonshire Council meeting, the latest budget reports said the authority was more than £100,000 in the black.

Cllr Dickson said the picture was “favourable at the moment”, adding: “That moves from month to month.”

Cllr David McBride asked: “Where is the £400,000 black hole?”

And Cllr Dickson replied: “That’s a continuously moving number. It’s probably best practice not to spend.”

Cllr McBride asked if the administration would check with council officers in future before putting out press releases that aren’t factual.

He added: “Will you take advice next time before you come away with spurious things?”

Cllr Dickson said it wasn’t for officers “to be political”.

On the separate meeting item approving the annual audited accounts, Labour moved an amendment praising the work of finance bosses and West Dunbartsonshire’s current position.

Cllr McColl said he had no objection to supporting Labour’s celebration of West Dunbartonshire’s books and the amendment passed.