East Renfrewshire’s opposition leader has slammed the settlement given to the council by the Scottish Government.

Conservative group leader Stewart Miller hit out, despite the local authority being handed over £3million more than last year.

Council bosses are aiming to save a total of £24m over the next three years as they try to balance the books.

This is set to mean rising council tax bills for tens of thousands of residents, as well as steep rent increases for council tenants.

And efficiency savings are planned across various council departments before 2021.

Councillor Miller believes the powers-that-be at Holyrood should have loosened the purse strings to protect services in East Renfrewshire.

He told the Barrhead News: “This isn’t Tory austerity, it’s SNP austerity.

“The problem is the finance minister, Derek Mackay, hasn’t given a decent settlement.

“This is all happening despite the Scottish Government getting an increase in funding from Westminster.”

Cllr Miller confirmed that his party will put forward an amendment to the budget at tomorrow’s full council meeting.

It’s expected that alternative council tax proposals will form part of that amendment, following the Conservatives’ plan to cut council tax by six per cent last year.

Despite a budget amendment being proposed, council leader Tony Buchanan remains confident his plans will be approved by elected members.

And he pointed to the administration’s capital spending plans as evidence that residents across East Renfrewshire are being put first.

Cllr Buchanan said: “Our City Deal investment has approximately £44million of work currently ongoing. Some of that work has been completed but some of the work is ongoing.

“We’re upgrading our Barrhead Foundry. There is additional work going in there worth £3.4million.

“Work across our parks, cemeteries and football pitches will be £2million.

“We’re proposing a new school in Newton Mearns, Maidenhill Primary School, which will be an additional cost of £15.3million.

“Roads improvement projects are also at £10.7million and that’s over and above what we have in our normal revenue budget and also the roadworks and improvements coming in under the City Deal.

“There is an additional £1.8million for energy efficiency schemes across the council and upgrades at our recycling centre at Greenhags to fix the road and make it more user friendly, at a cost of £500,000.”

Visit www.barrheadnews.co.uk tomorrow for updates on the budget meeting.