Lindhurst criticises SNP’s dismissive attitude towards leisure cuts

Lothian MSP Gordon Lindhurst has criticised the SNP Government for taking a dismissive attitude towards leisure cuts that have been imposed by Edinburgh City Council.

The Scottish Conservative and Unionist MSP challenged Public Health Minister Joe Fitzpatrick over recent budget policies from the SNP/Labour council administration that has led to pricing decisions from Edinburgh Leisure that are set to cut discounts for pensioners by 10%.

Mr Lindhurst laid the blame at the door of the SNP Government for failing to provide councils like the City of Edinburgh with a fair funding deal.

However, he was met with a dismissive response from the Minister who instead preferred to talk about Edinburgh Conservatives Budget plans, as well as Conservative Budget plans in the Scottish Parliament.

Commenting Gordon Lindhurst MSP said: “We should be promoting an active lifestyle at every opportunity, but the SNP Government are making that trickier for local authorities like Edinburgh by failing to give them a fair funding deal.

“It is a false economy because if elderly people find it harder to access sport and leisure facilities, it can put pressure on other budgets such as health and social care, which as we know already in Edinburgh are under immense strain.

“That is what I was challenging the Public Health Minister on, hoping that he would criticise the SNP/Labour council cuts to leisure services, including reductions in discounts for our elderly users, which is completely misguided.

“Instead, I was met with the usual SNP dismissive response, with the Minister instead preferring to pass the buck and talk about Conservative Budget plans at council and Parliamentary level.

“It is the SNP who are in power here in the Scottish Parliament and in the city chambers, so Mr Fitzpatrick should have taken responsibility for his Government’s failings when it comes to supporting local authorities in delivering vital services.”