The leader of East Renfrewshire Council has called for a “fair deal” from the Scottish Government ahead of tomorrow’s budget announcement.

Owen O’Donnell has expressed concern that a “budget of wrong choices” is in the pipeline, which will have a damaging impact on people across East Renfrewshire.

After the Scottish Budget is unveiled, Deputy First Minister John Swinney will confirm what money will be given to local councils to pay for services such as schools, roads and garbage collections.

East Renfrewshire Council will meet tonight to consider a motion from the Labour minority administration outlining the scale of cuts to its own budget, the cumulative impact of year-on-year cuts and the need for a “fairer” settlement.

This comes after directors of finance at all 32 councils across Scotland wrote to Mr Swinney in an unprecedented letter to state that services may be stopped over a £1billion funding crisis and that there is not a “path” for councils to set a balanced budget next year without more support.

Councillor O’Donnell told the Barrhead News: “As council leader, I am calling on the Scottish Government to deliver a fair deal for East Renfrewshire. On December 15, we as a council are expecting the SNP government to announce a budget riddled with dire implications for our communities.

“The cuts that have been imposed on East Renfrewshire by a distant government in Edinburgh total more than £80million since 2015. In the next three years, our communities could lose out on a further £30m as the Scottish Government continue to strip money out of local government.

“We strongly support Cosla’s call for the Scottish Government to get round a table with local authorities to listen to how detrimental a budget of cuts will be for the long-term welfare of our local communities.

“The SNP will claim they have produced a budget of hard choices but, if they don’t increase funding to sustain our vital local services, it will ultimately be a budget of wrong choices that fails to grasp the severity of the situation.

“We can’t and won’t stand still when we’re told that a budget of real terms cuts is the best they can offer us.”

Councillor O’Donnell said he is calling for more funding because “local services and facilities need more just to stand still.”

He added: “After year on year of cuts to our budget, being asked to do more with less, it really is time for the SNP Scottish Government to fund our communities properly. Labour will fight tooth and nail for a fair deal for East Renfrewshire.”

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “The Scottish Government recognises the crucial role councils and their employees play in our communities across Scotland and the challenging financial circumstances they face.

“That’s why, despite the Scottish Government’s settlements from the UK Government suffering a decade of austerity with average real terms cuts of over 5% equating to a loss of £18 billion, local authority revenue funding in Scotland is £2.2 billion or 22.9% higher in cash terms in the current financial year than it was in 2013-14.

"Future spending decisions will be outlined as part of the 2023-24 Scottish Budget on December 15.

“The Scottish Government would welcome the opportunity to work with local authorities, including East Renfrewshire, as we continue to make the case for the UK Government to do more to ease the economic pressure on families, business and our public finances during the worst cost crisis since devolution.”