Argyll and Bute Council is asking members of the public about their priorities for council services, as it prepares to bridge an estimated £9.2m funding gap in 2020/21.
Councillor Aileen Morton, Leader of the Council explained: “Unfortunately, it has become the norm to speak every year about how much of a funding gap the council has.
“The importance of council services in everyone’s day-to-day lives, though, cannot be overestimated. We are all around, delivering hundreds of services from education to benefits advice, and from conducting weddings to recycling rubbish.
“Every year of reduced funding brings us closer to being able to provide only those services councils have a duty to deliver. Argyll and Bute, however, needs its council to do more than just our duty – despite funding gaps. Argyll and Bute needs the council to invest in its long term future as well as in services that are most vital now.
“Local people’s views have helped the council reach decisions in previous years and we would welcome them again.”
Councillor Gary Mulvaney, Depute Leader of the Council, explained the budget-setting process. He said: “There won’t be much time between finding out how much funding the council has for 2020/21, and having to set our budget.
“Most (80%) of our funding comes from the Scottish Government. We won’t know how much Argyll and Bute’s allocation is until the end of the year, but have to set our budget in February 2020.
“All options for making savings therefore have to be identified just now. We are asking people to give us their views on priorities for the council’s work so that budget decisions can match local priorities, in as far as funding allows.”
The consultation opened today (28 October) and runs until December. It is available on the council’s website at https://www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/budget-consultation-2019
Printed copies are available in council customer service points or by contacting the council at email@example.com or on 01546 604171.