‘Support them or lose them.’ This is the blunt appeal from the Leader of Argyll and Bute Council, as the council faces another multi-million pound funding gap next year.
Councillor Robin Currie encouraged communities to contact their parliamentary representatives about the importance of funding the council services they use and need.
The council faces an estimated budget gap of another £7+ million next year alone, and £33 million over the next five years.
Councillor Currie said:
“The Council delivers a lot of services that we are not legally required to do. We want to deliver the services people want and that the area needs, and we will continue to provide wide ranging support.
Increasingly though we are having to prioritise the things that legislation requires us to do and not necessarily the things that our communities tell us are important to them.
The council’s had to make £64 million pounds of savings over the past twelve years, tens of millions more are forecast as needed in the years to come – communities are steadily losing council services.
The harsh reality is that council support is being taken away from communities, as funding is taken away from their councils.
Our priority is always to maintain services, to find new ways of working to reduce costs or raise income. And we are working hard to find ways to do that. Cross-party councillors, officers and trade union representatives are all working together to try to do that. We are also working nationally, with colleagues in other councils via CoSLA, to campaign for local government.”
The council’s budget challenges were on the agenda for the Policy and Resources Committee when it met today.
The council expects to find out at the end of the year how much Argyll and Bute’s Scottish Government funding settlement is for next year.
Scottish Parliament: www.parliament.scot/msps
UK Parliament: Contact information for Brendan O'Hara - MPs and Lords - UK Parliament