Spending row: Town has ‘done very well indeed’ says councillor

CARNOUSTIE does not come off badly and has done “very well indeed” with regards to funding, according to the Depute Provost Peter Murphy.

His comments come after figures revealed in last week’s Guide & Gazette showed over the past 14 years, the town has only had an average spend of £66.48 per head of the population.

This was compared to Montrose, which had the greatest spend of £207.15 per head, three times more than Carnoustie.

But Councillor Murphy, who represents Carnoustie, told the Guide & Gazette, comparing Angus burghs against one another always results in a grey area.

He also explained that unlike other Angus towns, Carnoustie does not have a Common Good fund to rely on and to some extent this is one of the reasons why they look to have lost out.

He said: “It is important to note that, like Monifieth, Carnoustie loses out, to some extent, through not having a Common Good Fund such as in the rest of the Burghs which they can dip into for various local projects.

“Although there are now funds and community grants set aside by the council for incidental purposes for what is termed “community” projects during the course of every financial year.”

But Councillor Murphy says Carnoustie more than makes up for its shortfall as it has been rewarded with funding from other sources.

He explained: “A case can be made that ‘funding’ has come Carnoustie’s way in regard to the recently completed Seafront development that was largely funded from the proceeds of the sale of the former Dalhousie Golf Club.

“And also even more recently, funding from the Scottish Government for the new care centre to replace Camus House, some £10 million.

“Carnoustie has also benefited more than any other Angus burgh by the investment of something like £25 million in three new primary schools and, more or less, a new secondary school, coming out of the PPP scheme, that came about through the then Labour Liberal Democrat Scottish Executive.

“Within the next two-and-a-half years Carnoustie may very well also have acquired its very own Civic Centre through the combined efforts of the local Carnoustie Centre Action Group in partnership with Angus Council who have provided the site free along with a cash contribution — in total £300,000.

“This also goes towards match funding of £1 million towards an equivalent sum from the Big Lottery.

“Carnoustie could be said to have done very well indeed by comparison with all the other Angus burghs by way of funding of one kind or another.”

The leader of Angus Council, Bob Myles, has also dismissed the idea that Carnoustie is the poor relation of Angus and says all burghs are looked on equally.

He added: “Angus Council looks at all burghs equally and spends money where it is most appropriate.

“These figures are just a snapshot as if you were to look at spending over a different time-scale, probably another burgh would come out on top.

“I see no merit in pitting burghs against each other in this way, especially going back to 2003 like these figures show.”

r See letters: page 14