The co-leader of Aberdeen City Council has called for local authorities to receive their fair share of funding allocated to aid the fight against coronavirus.
The UK Government has so far distributed an additional £600 million to Scotland as the country continues to feel the effects of the global outbreak.
But councillor Douglas Lumsden warned of the unexpected financial challenges faced by Aberdeen because of the pandemic.
He has written to the Scottish Government’s local government minister Kevin Stewart – also the MSP for Aberdeen Central – to ensure councils across the country receive a large enough share to help them continue to battle the outbreak.
Mr Lumsden said: “Aberdeen City Council has responded to the coronavirus pandemic extremely well.
“However, the council’s finances and projections are going to be lower than was anticipated at the budget in March.
“It is therefore imperative that the Scottish Government provides Aberdeen City Council and other councils with a fair share of the £600m provided to them by the UK Government.”
He added: “As the local government minister I have written to Kevin Stewart MSP as I expect him to be fighting local government’s corner, to ensure that he will do everything in his power to support our public services and back local government, so we can continue to provide vital public services in the future.”
Mr Stewart said the money would be used to fund measures brought in to deal with coronavirus.
And he insisted ministers would continue to demand more money from Westminster.
He said: “The money from the coronavirus emergency response fund – due to Scotland as a consequence of UK Government spending elsewhere – has already been allocated to support a range of important measures in the fight against the pandemic, including additional funding for NHS staffing costs and to help charities deal with consequences of Covid-19.
“While we welcome the help provided to date, we will continue to strongly press the UK Government for urgent additional funding for the health service, local government and care sector to adequately deal with the scale of this crisis.”
Meanwhile, Aberdeenshire West MSP Alexander Burnett said the additional cash would help ease the burden on the north-east’s public services.
He said: “I am very pleased that on top of paying the bulk of wages for furloughed employees and supporting the self-employed and businesses, this UK money is going towards public services.
“The UK Government have been clear that it will do whatever it takes to help all corners of the UK through the pandemic.”