No funding bias

7th January 2011 at 00:00

The claims by Glasgow City Council of political bias in the local government finance settlement, which you reported on December 17, are no more than ludicrous whingeing.

If Glasgow's leader, Gordon Matheson, does not understand that the level of grant for each council is set by a pre- agreed formula between the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities and the Scottish Government, then he is not fit to hold his current position. The formula is based on an objective process with a set methodology, which specifically excludes political input.

Councillor Matheson knows full well that the finance settlement for each local authority reflects its spending needs. In West Lothian's case, it accurately reflects factors such as our increase in both older people and young children, increased secondary school rolls and an increase in the money we pass directly to Lothian and Borders fire and rescue service.

Under this agreement, West Lothian Council will receive an estimated pound;1,850 per head of population, which is still under the national average of just over pound;2,000.

By comparison, Glasgow City Council will receive in excess of pound;2,360 per head of population, which is the highest for any mainland local authority in Scotland.

After a generation of Labour control, I understand that Glasgow has significant issues to tackle in its area, including deprivation. West Lothian would benefit enormously if we received the same funding per head of population as Glasgow - to the extent of an extra pound;86 million of revenue in the coming year.

Peter Johnston, leader, West Lothian Council, Livingston.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now