Caithness Map :: Links to Site Map Great value Unlimited Broadband from an award winning provider  

 

Highland Council Considers Planning For 3-year Budget Gap

7th September 2018

The Highland Council has agreed to plan for a potential budget gap of £66.7 million over the next three years.

It was agreed by Members in June to develop plans for a multi-year budget for the next 3 financial years (2019-22) to meet the challenge of a potential funding gap dependent on a wide range of variables.

The budget assumptions are based on two key variables, namely the level of revenue grant funding received from the Scottish Government and the annual staff pay award. The budget gap could range from £34.1m to £124.9m, because the Council has no certainty on either of these variables. Having such a wide potential range for the budget gap, makes planning work incredibly difficult, and so it has been decided that the budget planning will focus on a scenario of a 1% annual reduction in government grant funding and an annual 3% pay award. Setting the variables at this level assumes a budget gap of £66.7m over the 3 year period.

Over the period 2013/14 to 2018/19 the Highland Council has already had to approve budget savings of £102.1 million as well as agree Council tax rises of 3% in each of the last two years in order to deliver a balanced budget.

Budget Leader Councillor Alister Mackinnon said: "In Scotland, local government has probably been the hardest hit of the wider public sector in terms of real terms reductions in funding. This Council has seen a cut in real terms over the past 5 years and the outlook continues to look grim.

"The future is by no means certain, but by assuming a budget gap of £66.7m, this allows us to prepare a plan which we can adapt as new information arises. This way, by starting our planning early, we can prioritise and accelerate proposals or defer certain options if we can.

"Work is already well advanced in developing information to inform the budget process. This involves taking a close look at services and identifying where there are opportunities for becoming more efficient and commercial and ensuring there is best value for every penny spent."

He continued: "It has not been easy in the past budgets and it will not be easy to find even more savings on top of those we have already made. Income generation, commercialisation and efficiencies become even more vital in this context in order to protect essential services and we do not have the luxury of the significant reserves we once had to give us any wriggle room. It is undoubtedly the case that there will be very hard decisions to make and we all need to work across the chamber to do the best we can for the people of the Highlands."

A recently produced report by SPICe highlights that between 2013/14 and 2017/18 there was a 7.1% fall in the local government revenue settlement in real terms. Over that same period the Scottish Government revenue budget decreased by 1.8% in real terms. The same SPICe report identifies that over the period 2013/14 to 2018/19 Highland Council has seen a reduction in funding per head of population of £172, the fourth highest of all mainland authorities.

 

Related Businesses

 

Related Articles

18/4/2019
Wick Businesses Talk With Councillors About How To Improve The Town CentreThumbnail for article : Wick Businesses Talk With Councillors About How To Improve The Town Centre
Wick Town Hall packed as businesses and councillors gather to discuss ambitious town centre regeneration vision.   More than 50 retailers and business owners attend presentation and discussion session in Wick Town Hall, hosted by all four ward councillors.  
17/4/2019
Inverness West Link New Road Stage 2 BeginsThumbnail for article : Inverness West Link New Road Stage 2 Begins
The final stage of the West Link is to commence following the award of the £10.1M construction contract to a local company to build the additional swing bridge and roundabout, with the associated realignment of General Booth Road.   Following a tender exercise, The Highland Council has awarded the contract to RJ McLeod (Contractors) Ltd from Dingwall.  
15/4/2019
Don't let the grass grow under your feet - Brown Bin PermitsThumbnail for article : Don't let the grass grow under your feet - Brown Bin Permits
Don't let the grass grow under your feet - order your 2019/20 brown bin garden waste permit now.   Highland Council Garden Waste Permits are now available to order for the 2019/20 Permit Season.  
15/4/2019
Has The Time Come For A Citizens Basic Income?Thumbnail for article : Has The Time Come For A Citizens Basic Income?
With predictions of social and economic upheaval brought about by technological and environmental changes, could a citizen's income reduce poverty and increase people's control over their lives?.  How attractive - and affordable - is it as a policy?.  
15/4/2019
Call For Fundamental Review Of Funding Local Government
UNISON, the largest trade union in Scotland, and the Jimmy Reid Foundation are calling for a fundamental review of funding local government.   The call will be made at the launch of joint UNISON and Jimmy Reid Foundation report: Additional Revenue streams sources of funding for the delivery of local government services The report will be launched today (Monday 15 April) at the STUC 122nd Annual Congress in Dundee.  
10/4/2019
Warning - don't get caught by Council Tax scamThumbnail for article : Warning - don't get caught by Council Tax scam
The Highland Council has been alerted to a Council Tax scam whereby scammers are cold calling and claiming that the resident can have their Council Tax band reassessed upon payment of £150.   Council Tax bands are determined by the Assessor and Electoral Registration Officer who is independent from the Highland Council.  
4/4/2019
Council welcomes Inverness - Heathrow same-day-flights service
Highland Council Leaders have welcomed the introduction of a new Inverness - London Heathrow service this week by British Airways which will allow people to travel between the two cities and return the same day.   Leader of The Highland Council, Cllr Margaret Davidson welcomes the new flight schedule that will see a 30 per cent increase in capacity on the route and bring the number of flights up to three return services on Saturdays and Sundays, with a double daily service Monday to Friday.  
2/4/2019
Highland Council supports national anti-littering campaignThumbnail for article : Highland Council supports national anti-littering campaign
The Highland Council is supporting the 2019 Keep Scotland Beautiful Clean Up campaign and is encouraging as many communities, businesses, schools and individuals as possible to get involved in a local community clean up.   £53 million of public money is spent addressing litter and flytipping in Scotland each year.  
1/4/2019
Expansion Of Free Personal Care
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Health Secretary Jeane Freeman visited the Capability Scotland Edinburgh Hub ahead of the extension of free personal care to people of all ages who are assessed as requiring it.   The expansion of free personal care - which was previously only available to those aged over 65 - comes into force on April 1 2019 and is often referred to as ‘Frank's Law’ after the former Dundee United footballer Frank Kopel.  
28/3/2019
Apprentice Day for Highland Youth Parliament MembersThumbnail for article : Apprentice Day for Highland Youth Parliament Members
The 14th Highland Youth Parliament Apprentice Day was held on Tuesday, 26th March 2019.   Highland Youth Parliament, the elected Youth Parliament for the Highlands, holds an annual ‘Apprentice Day' on which members of HYP shadow Senior Managers across public sector services.  

[Printer Friendly Version]