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MP calls for Scottish councils to be able to bid directly for UK towns fund

5 Mar 2019

Clark, Colin - Gordon

A north-east MP has said local councils in Scotland should be able to bid directly for UK Government spending from the Stronger Towns Fund.

Prime Minister Theresa May announced this week that £1.6billion was being made available for towns across England.

The UK’s local government and communities department has said that money will also be made available to Scotland.

Scottish Conservative Colin Clark said during a debate at Westminster that towns in his Gordon constituency such as Pitmedden, Insch and Huntly could benefit.

However, he warned that councils should bypass the SNP government in Edinburgh and deal directly with Westminster.

Mr Clark said: “I very much welcome the UK Government’s commitment to investing money outwith our major cities.

“We await the mechanism by which this will be distributed to Scotland, but I am concerned about what will happen if it goes to Holyrood first .

“Councils have yet to receive a penny from Holyrood after the UK Government provided tens of millions to prepare for Brexit. English councils, in contrast, received £56million.

“Scottish Conservative MPs have made clear that local councils should be able to bid directly to the UK Government for this Stronger Towns Fund.

“We cannot afford for this funding to be swallowed up by the SNP in Holyrood to fund pet projects. North-east councils like Aberdeenshire should not miss out.”