Council prepares to set its budget

stacks of coins increasing in size on top of wooden blocks that spell out Budget

“Councils can only spend what we can fund. We have to make choices that deliver the most benefit possible from the limited funding we have. Setting the council’s budget will be as simple and as complex as that.”

Ahead of the council setting its budget next week (22nd), Leader of Argyll and Bute Council, Councillor Robin Currie, said:

“We all use council services in different ways. As a council we’d love to do everything our communities want us to do. Limited resources though limit what we can do. We have to balance our budget and work with what we’ve got. Setting the budget will be about making responsible choices that bring as much support to as many people as our resources allow.”

Reports going to the Council meeting set out the extent of the financial challenge facing the council – a budget gap next year alone of £10 million+ for running services, and a £29 million+ gap for infrastructure such as buildings or bridges.

Funding for council services comes primarily from Scottish Government funding and council tax. Options set out to balance Argyll and Bute’s council budget include increasing council tax.

The Scottish Government previously announced a council tax freeze. However CoSLA, which campaigns for fair funding on behalf of councils, produced a budget reality analysis showing a £62.7 million cash cut to councils.

Councillor Gary Mulvaney, Policy Lead for Finance Services said:

“There’s no getting away from the fact that multi-million pound cuts to funding reduce what the council can do. The focus has to be on how we can protect the services people need.”

You can read the Council reports on the website – Agenda for Argyll and Bute Council on Thursday, 22 February 2024, 10:30 am – Argyll and Bute Council (argyll-bute.gov.uk)

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