THE leader of the opposition at West Dunbartonshire Council has called on residents not to take part in a consultation.

Martin Rooney, who heads the Labour group, tabled a motion at the meeting of the council last week asking members of the public to boycott the council's survey on next year's budget.

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Mr Rooney was angered at what he perceived to be "turkey's voting for Christmas".

His motion said: "How callous is this SNP administration, propped up by Baillie Agnew, to ask our young people, elderly, infirm, disabled and vulnerable to choose the cut they want?

"Is this some sort of Trumpian democracy?

"Nobody is happy with cuts affecting our schoolchildren, community groups, grass cutting services and community alarm price hikes."

"This is why Labour is taking the unprecedented move of discouraging residents in West Dunbartonshire from participating in the council budget consultation.

"Labour is will not be encouraging any citizens to complete this survey until such time that a zero cuts budget option in on the consultation paper.

"We ask fellow citizens and councillors to endorse the Labour Party's position and support out Boycott the Budget Consultation campaign."

Mr Rooney's motion also unveiled a hashtag for the campaign #BoycottTheBudgetConsultation.

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Councillor Ian Dickson asked Mr Rooney if he had filled in the consultation, saying: "If he has filled it in, then he's went against his own boycott, and if he hasn't, that's clear from this motion."

Council leader Jonathan McColl put forward an amendment to the motion.

The motion said: "Even with no central funding cuts, service enhancements or added requirements from the Scottish and UK governments, the council needs approximately an extra £5 million in funding just to stand still.; this is due to inflation, wage rises and increasing needs of our residents.

"The council's cumulative projected gap over the next two yearsis almost £17 million and is likely to increase into the following year.

"While West Dunbartonshire Council is committed to doing everything we can to protect jobs and services, the reality is that if austerity continues, UK councils - including ours - will be struggling to provide statutory services; indeed some already are.

"Councillors will use the feedback from the budget consultation to make political decisions about how we should balance the budget.

"Council welcomes input and advice from anyone with knowledge of our services and we fully encourage members of the public and staff to take part in the consultation."

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Community Party councillor Jim Bollan, who supported the Labour motion, described the consultation as a "con and a sham".

Councillor McColl's amendment to the motion passed by ten votes to nine.