Argyll and Bute Council is facing a £12+ million gap in its budget next year, with councillors vowing to campaign for more funding to save vital community services.
Leader of the Council, Councillor Robin Currie said:
“Council services are crucial for day-to-day living and for building the longer term future of Argyll and Bute. Funding of course is extremely challenging for everyone, locally and nationally. However investing in councils is investing in the wellbeing and growth of our communities and area. We will continue to work, through CoSLA, for fair funding for Argyll and Bute’s council services.”
The budget outlook was on the agenda when the Policy and Resources Committee met (Thursday 12th), along with the findings from the council’s recent on-line budget simulator exercise. This asked people to give views on where they would increase income and reduce spend to bridge the council’s budget gap.
Findings were mixed with many smaller-spend services being allocated budget cuts most often, but with comments supporting cuts from bigger ticket areas.
Before the council sets its budget next February, there are still key factors to be confirmed, such as how much Scottish Government funding the council will get, or if the Verity House agreement, between CoSLA and the Scottish Government, will deliver new funding opportunities. The Verity House agreement in part is about reviewing how councils are funded going forward.
Councillor Gary Mulvaney, Policy Lead for Finance Services said:
“The council wants what our communities want, to carry on delivering services that support all aspects of life in Argyll and Bute. Cuts to council budgets however mean cuts to council services. Thank you to everyone who took time to give views to the simulator exercise. What you have told us will help us reach the best decisions possible with whatever budget we have.”
An update on budget planning will go to the next meeting of the Policy and Resources Committee in December.
For more information on the Verity House agreement see Verity House Agreement signed by First Minister and COSLA President – 30th June 2023 | COSLA
For information on the council’s budget outlook and simulator findings, please see items 5 and 6 on the Policy and Resources Committee agenda: Agenda for Policy and Resources Committee on Thursday, 12 October 2023, 10:30 am – Argyll and Bute Council (argyll-bute.gov.uk)