Loch Long

CEX update – making a difference

You do a job that matters. You make a difference to people’s lives. And while there are obviously challenges to meet, our communities will go on needing their council and the services we provide together.

As we start a new year, it’s important to remember that. It’s important to focus not only on the issues we will deal with, but also on how individually and together we make things better for so many people, in so many ways.

Budget planning is obviously one of the challenges we, like all councils, are dealing with at this time of year. The Scottish Government announced funding for councils in December, and we have been working through the detail of that, in preparation for the council setting its budget in February.

Key points of note at this stage:

  • The Scottish Government (SG) announced that councils should freeze council tax, that it would provide funding to make this possible, and that overall it would increase the funding settlement for councils.
  • Indications are that we will not get enough to fully cover the council tax increase we’d provisionally planned for, and conditions come with the settlement that in effect reduce council’s funding, and choice in how they use it, for the majority of our work.
  • COSLA has produced a ‘Budget Reality’ summary outlining this.

The council’s budget working group – which brings together administration and opposition councillors and council officers – meets next week, and I will update you with more detail in my update next Friday.

Spread the word

Going back to communities needing their council and the difference we make to their lives, your help would be appreciated in finding great people for the roles we have in the council. Looking through the very varied list of jobs available with us is a reminder in itself of how much we support life in Argyll and Bute.

Opportunities just now for example include chargehand mechanic, an admin officer secondment, casual pier operative, teachers, social care workers, and many other roles. Please spread the word about opportunities with anyone you think should join us. Thanks.

As always, if you have any questions you are welcome to contact me at workingtogether@argyll-bute.gov.uk

And as this is my first update of the new year, I would like to wish you all a happy 2024 that brings you good things.