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Cuts to cultural services 'are deepening inequality'

Scottish Labour has said libraries, museums and galleries had all suffered funding cuts.

Libraries: A source of education.
Libraries: A source of education. PA

Around £90m has been cut from cultural services budgets across local authorities in Scotland since 2011, say Scottish Labour.

Figures indicated a £22m reduction in spending for libraries, with more than £5m cut from museums and galleries.

The study also found there was almost £20m removed from budgets for sports facilities and more than £30m from community parks and open spaces.

Labour claims the figures are evidence the Scottish Government has helped to implement austerity measures taken by the UK Government.

The party's culture, tourism and external affairs spokeswoman Claire Baker said: "Libraries aren't just a free source of reading, they are often at the centre of people's daily lives.

"They are a place for everyone to learn, to study, to talk and exchange ideas, and can always provide a safe and welcoming environment for vulnerable people in our communities.

'These SNP-Tory cuts are entrenching inequality and damaging the quality of life for thousands of Scots.'
Scottish Labour's culture, tourism and external affairs spokeswoman Claire Baker

"These SNP-Tory cuts are entrenching inequality and damaging the quality of life for thousands of Scots."

However a Scottish Government spokesperson said they are "continuing to ensure that local governments receive a fair funding settlement."

"Libraries empower communities, help tackle inequality, reduce isolation and boost the local economy" they added.

"Since 2014, the Scottish Government has provided funding of more than £4.7m which has supported the development and delivery of Scotland's first national public library strategy and continue to support innovative ways for people to use public libraries.

"We are delivering a total funding package of £11.1bn for local authorities next year - a real-terms increase of over £210m for essential public services in Scotland."

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