The leader of Labour run Inverclyde council has written to Michael Gove urging him to bypass the Scottish Government and hand Barnett Consequentials straight to local authorities.

In a letter to the Tory minister, Stephen McCabe, said there needed to be an “urgent intervention.”

Relations between the Scottish Government and the country’s town halls have deteriorated in recent months, stemming from Humza Yousaf’s surprise announcement at SNP conference last October, that council tax would be frozen.

READ MORE: Shona Robison denies 'punishing' councils with tax freeze conditions

Ministers initially promised £147m to fund the freeze, the equivalent of a 5% hike across the board. However, councils said this left them short-changed.

Last week, Deputy First Minister Shona Robison promised to hand over an extra £62.7m, with £45m coming from Barnett Consequentials due to extra spending for councils in England announced by Mr Gove.

However, the money will only go to authorities who agree to freeze council tax.

The Labour group in Inverclyde have proposed a two-year budget with an 8.2% increase in the household levy.

In his letter, obtained by the Daily Record, Cllr McCabe wrote: "You will be aware from press reports that the Scottish Government’s Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Finance Shona Robison MSP has advised Scottish Councils that they will only receive a share of the estimated £45m of Barnett consequentials from the UK Government if they agree to freeze Council Tax.

“I am seeking your urgent intervention to ensure that all Councils in Scotland receive a share of this additional funding, should it be allocated by the Chancellor in next week’s UK Budget.”

READ MORE: Shona Robison defends 'priority' council tax freeze

Responding to Cllr McCabe's letter, Deputy First Minister Shona Robison said she could not understand his position. She said: “The funding the Scottish Government has offered Inverclyde to deliver a council tax freeze is equivalent to a rise of 8.2%.

"I simply do not understand why the administration of Inverclyde Council are saying they wish to reject this funding and instead increase council tax by 8.2% in the middle of a cost of living crisis.

“We’ve set out that the £45m in consequentials will be available to councils who freeze council tax, and without the strict conditions that are being imposed by the UK Government on the source of this funding’s use, including the requirement for English councils to provide productivity and improvement plans to get their share.

“Despite a real-terms cut to the Scottish Budget, in 2024-25 local government will receive record funding with councils’ share of the Budget increasing from 31 to 32%.

"In addition to the £14 billion settlement for councils I set out in December, a further £62.7 million will be made available to them in 2024-25 subject to improved funding being confirmed through the Spring Budget."