With savings of up to £33 million to be made over the next three years, Argyll and Bute Council will seek the views of residents in planning the future of its services, launching a consultation in November.
Leader of the Council, Councillor Aileen Morton said:
“Every day Argyll and Bute Council provides services that support our youngest, our oldest and our most vulnerable residents. We work year round to meet the needs of our communities and local businesses to build the economic growth that will bring the people and jobs on which the future of our area depends.
“Achieving this has become increasingly difficult given cuts to our funding over the past years. The scale of savings we expect to have to continue making in the years to come will mean more difficult choices and significant change in how we work with and for our communities.
“At the moment, we don’t know exactly what we are dealing with – our funding is expected to be confirmed by the Scottish Government towards the end of the year for 2018-19. We do know though that change will have to happen. It is with the help of local people that we have already made choices that are transforming the work of the council.
“With millions of pounds more savings to make, we would like to involve people again in making the best use of the resources we have and I would encourage local people to get involved and make their views known.”
Councillor Gary Mulvaney, Depute Leader and Policy Lead for Strategic Finance set out the scale of the challenge facing the council.
“The council’s budget gap in 2018/19 is estimated to be between £0.9 million and £8.5 million, and between £11.1 million and £33.9 million over the next three years.
“Due to national requirements and changes to decision-making about social care we can only make these savings from a budget of around £60 million a year.
“We’re doing all we possibly can as a council to find ways in which to deal with more cuts. However, the scale of cuts expected over the years ahead means that there are no easy solutions. It means that there will have to be a shift in mind-set about how we provide services. We will be a different shape of council going forward.”
The consultation will be available on the council’s website from 13 November and will invite views on service planning, and getting involved in the work of the council. It will also be available in council offices.
Notes to Editors:
The consultation includes options for savings that include the loss of 37.8 FTE (full time equivalent) posts. Wherever possible, the council will use voluntary redundancy or early retirement to create opportunities for those who wish to stay by freeing up posts of those who wish to leave.