THE leader of the opposition at West Dunbartonshire Council has called on residents not to take part in a consultation.

Councillor Martin Rooney, who heads the Labour group, tabled a motion at the meeting of the council last week asking members of the public to boycott the council’s survey on next year’s budget.

Mr Rooney was angered at what he perceived to be “turkey’s voting for Christmas”.

His motion said: “How callous is this SNP administration, propped up by Bailie Denis Agnew, to ask our young people, elderly, infirm, disabled and vulnerable to choose the cut they want. Is this some sort of Trumpian democracy?

“Nobody is happy with cuts affecting our schoolchildren, community groups, grass cutting services and community alarm price hikes.”

“This is why Labour is taking the unprecedented move of discouraging residents in West Dunbartonshire from participating in the council budget consultation.

“Labour will not be encouraging any citizens to complete this survey until such time that a zero cuts budget option is on the consultation paper.

Read more: Public asked to help West Dunbartonshire Council with £9m cuts

“We ask fellow citizens and councillors to endorse the Labour Party’s position and our Boycott the Budget Consultation campaign.”

Mr Rooney’s motion also unveiled the hashtag being used for the campaign will be #BoycottTheBudgetConsultation.

Councillor Ian Dickson asked Mr Rooney if he had filled in the consultation, saying: “If he has filled it in, then he’s gone against his own boycott, and if he hasn’t, that’s clear from this motion.”

Council leader Jonathan McColl put forward an amendment to the motion which said: “Even with no central funding cuts, service enhancements or added requirements from the Scottish and UK governments, the council needs approximately an extra £5 million in funding just to stand still.

“The council’s cumulative projected gap over the next two years is almost £17 million and is likely to increase into the following year.

“While West Dunbartonshire Council is committed to doing everything we can to protect jobs and services, the reality is that if austerity continues, UK councils - including ours - will be struggling to provide statutory services; indeed some already are.”

Community Party councillor Jim Bollan supported the Labour motion, but described the consultation as a “con and a sham”.

Councillor McColl’s amendment to the motion passed by ten votes to nine.