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CASH-HIT COUNCIL MAKE BINS THEIR TOP PRIORITY.

COUNCIL chiefs in one of Scotland's most deprived areas believe new whee lie bins are more important than schools.

The ruling Liberal Democrats in Inverclyde decided to put the bins at the top of their priority list, along with:

Grass cutting;

Painting council buildings;

Street lighting.

The Sunday Mail revealed in December that the council were facing a pounds 6 million deficit in their 2004 budget.

Now the Lib Dems have finalised their plans for sorting out the mess.

But their political opponents claim essential funds for schools, elderly care homes and secure accommodation for vulnerable kids could be slashed.

Labour councillor Stephen McCabe said: ''To place whee lie bins and council building painting above care homes and schools is bizarre.

''We will be fighting these swingeing cuts at every turn.''

The Lib Dems are also considering making 500 workers redundant.

Inverclyde has the highest unemployment in Scotland, 5.3 per cent, compared to the three per cent average.

Inverclyde Council have already closed down two elderly care homes to save pounds 400,000 a year.

Councillor Campbell Snoddy, Lib Dem group secretary, said: ''The topics we discussed in December are by no means an exhaustive list of our policies.''

The Lib Dems and Labour are expected to clash over the plans at a full council meeting on Tuesday.

CAPTION(S):

Fighting talk: Stephen McCabe
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Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Feb 8, 2004
Words:225
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