The council has published an update on its preparations to meet an estimated funding gap of more than £6 million next year.
Reports that will be considered at next week’s Policy and Resources Committee set out progress in identifying options for cutting costs, making savings and raising income.
Councillor Gary Mulvaney, Policy Lead for Financial Services, explained the particular funding challenges facing Argyll and Bute:
“With mainland and island communities, Argyll and Bute needs more from its council than many other areas, such as ferry and air services. And with local communities spread across islands and Scotland’s second largest council area, it can be more expensive to deliver services here than elsewhere.
However, in recent years Argyll and Bute has had one of the biggest reductions in Scottish Government funding of all Scotland’s council areas.(*)
Our priority is always to do what we can to protect services. We are looking for ways in which to raise income. We are changing how we work to cut costs and help make services sustainable.
Just now though we need to identify savings options we hope we don’t have to take, so that we are prepared to bridge another funding gap.
So much will depend on how much Scottish Government funding Argyll and Bute gets. We expect to find this out in late January. ”
Council services are exploring ways to make savings by working differently based on these themes: working digitally and amenity, leisure, fleet and transport services. In addition, all council services have been set a target to deliver 2% efficiencies.
Members of the public have been asked to get involved twice with this year’s budget planning process, by giving views on amenity and bus services surveys. Anyone with views on the savings options listed in the reports is welcome to send comments to email@example.com
The council will identify more opportunities for savings over the coming months, with options going to full Council for budget setting in February 2021.
You can read the reports on the council’s website.