Courier Country councils face a “precipice” on funding sports and culture because of SNP budget cuts, it was said today.
Fresh figures revealed Scotland’s councils spent an average of 2.75% less on leisure-related pursuits in the 2017 and 2018 tax years – a £16 million difference.
Information from the SNP revealed Dundee spent almost £1.3m less on revenue budgets in the last tax year than it did in 2016/17 – a drop of 6.76%.
And Angus lost 7.32% from its budget over the same period – £663,000 less to libraries and sports centres.
Fife reduced by £175,000 or 0.42%.
Only Perth saw an increase, by 8.05% or £1.38m – Scotland’s largest.
Scottish Conservative MSP for the North East region, Bill Bowman, said the downwards trend across Scotland is down to wider cuts being forced on councils.
He said: “It is very worrying that even SNP-run councils like Dundee are having to cut revenue spend on libraries, gyms and tourist services by this much.
“More than a million pounds over two years is quite stark.
“All of the councils across Tayside and Fife tell the same tale under the SNP government – every year they have cuts to core budgets, which leave them facing a precipice.
“According to Audit Scotland, Dundee’s core revenue funding was cut by 6.4% over the last five years, while Angus’ fell by 8.3%.
“Arts funding is just one of many public goods which have to come under the microscope.
“Angus and Dundee have arms-length trusts which raise revenue, so this amount hasn’t necessarily evaporated.
“But difficult decisions are having to be made because there is less and less money from Holyrood.”
The figures come following the revelations that the public finance watchdog rebuffed a series of heated emails from the Scottish government, demanding they change a graphic illustrating a downturn in core council funding.
LAst week, Dundee Labour group leader Kevin Keenan clashed with administration leader John Alexander over cuts to Leisure and Culture Dundee, the arm-length organisation responsible for running leisure organisations in Dundee.
Mr Keenan said he was concerned at the scale of the cuts being imposed but Mr Alexander said the success of the V&A means many attractions are seeing more visitors and getting more revenue as a result.