Laura Sharman 12 July 2016

Councils not using reserves should be ‘exposed’ says union

Councils should be held accountable for their use of cash reserves and track how money is being utilised, according to trade union Unite.

The union has passed a 14-point campaigning template calling on councils to use cash reserves more creatively to help mitigate the impact of budget cuts.

The statement said: ‘We need to hold councils to account about the level of reserves they have.

‘The breakdown of reserves needs to be examined, including what is earmarked and for what. Trends in using reserves should be tracked - are they increasing or decreasing and why?

‘If a council continues to build reserves, or keep reserve levels static, when there has not been a need to use them in previous years, then this should be exposed.’

The union will also be lobbying councils to use appropriate borrowing and re-financing to make savings, as well as borrowing to invest to generate income.

It will also campaign in Scotland to drop historical debt for councils, arguing it consumes a sizeable amount of council income.

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