Midlothian residents’ main concern is the lack of infrastructure

A lack of adequate infrastructure to support Midlothian’s growing population is residents’ biggest concern.
Stock photo of a housing site under construction in Rosewell.Stock photo of a housing site under construction in Rosewell.
Stock photo of a housing site under construction in Rosewell.

After conducting a survey that revealed that the top concern of Midlothian residents is the lack of infrastructure to support the building of new homes, Lothian List MSP Jeremy Balfour (Con) hit out at the Scottish Government for their funding of local authorities.

Over the last couple of years Midlothian has seen a vast number of new homes being built across the council area. According to statistics from the Scottish Government, Midlothian was one of the local authorities with the highest rate of new builds in 2019.

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Not everyone has been thrilled about the rising population in Midlothian, however, with many respondents to a survey carried out by Mr Balfour, expressing their concern over the impact that an increase in people living in the area will have on services that are already under pressure.

Mr Balfour has blamed Scottish Government reductions in funding over the last seven years for the council’s inability to build new schools and medical practices.

He said: “I share in the concerns of my constituents that - while the building of new homes in Midlothian could be very positive for the area - without the infrastructure to sustain a growing population, current residents are going to be negatively impacted.

“My greatest concern is that without the building of new schools and medical practices, as well as the hiring of more teachers and GPs, extra pressure will be placed on existing schools and medical practices and Midlothian’s children and most vulnerable will be most affected.

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“The root of this problem is the inadequate funding given by the Scottish Government to Midlothian Council, who have experienced a deduction in their budget of £132 per person between 2013 and 2020.

“This year was the first in many years that there was an increase in funding to Midlothian Council, but this is clearly not enough.

“If we are to see Midlothian thrive in coming years then the Scottish Government must make major considerations about the level of funding that they are providing.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “The annual local government settlements allocation formula uses the most up to date information for the full range of indicators, including population.

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“The Scottish Government and COSLA keep this formula under constant review but any fundamental changes to this formula must in the first instance come from COSLA on behalf of all their local authority members.

“Midlothian Council is in receipt of the largest increase, in percentage terms, in revenue funding this year, as a direct result of the increase in population.”

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