THIS year’s budget meeting was more of what we’ve come to expect from the Labour Administration at West Dunbartonshire. 

It was an evening full of blame and very little in the way of shame at the cuts they are inflicting on our communities.

In excess of 60 jobs, and millions of pounds of cuts, all of which we are told are unavoidable.

Except that’s not the truth. 

The SNP offered an alternative budget which did not make anyone redundant, which did not hammer services, and which did not leave our communities facing increased bills. 

Instead of Labour choosing to protect, it was about them choosing to deflect. 

So little respect does the council leader and his group have for the people of West Dunbartonshire, that they couldn’t even offer a clear and transparent account of their actions.

Members were presented with an 18-page colour document full of bluster, with the choices they weren’t taking highlighted in red, and the savage cuts they were making hidden away in acres of text. 

They suggested people feel sorry for them. Told us how hard this budget had been to set. This is their hall of shame!

To add insult to injury was the disgraceful attitude of Labour’s Provost Douglas McAllister who refused four requests to allow time for a recess to read these 18-pages.

Refused a councillor who identified themselves as having dyslexia. 

As a lawyer, he’ll be more than aware of the terms of the Equality Act and yet he just didn’t care about making allowances for someone with a disability.

No regard whatsoever for equality and fairness.

Some of the changes you’ll now see under Labour are fewer lollipop men and women, charges of £60 if you want your garden waste bin emptied, less road workers - which means for flooding, icy weather and maintenance the council will have even less chance of responding adequately. 

Valuing children and young people was clearly not a priority either, with over £1.36 million of cuts to Educational Services; our very youngest children in our nursery settings through to our High School pupils, all targeted.

There’s a saying, be the change you want to see in the world… well I hope that West Dunbartonshire Labour can reflect on that. 

Too much smoke and mirrors from this administration. They don’t do accountability and can’t stand scrutiny.

Shame on them all!