William Eichler 29 November 2018

Pressure on Scottish councils ‘shows no signs of easing’

Scottish councils are managing in the face of government cuts and rising demands on services but they ‘face a difficult time ahead’, a financial watchdog has warned.

A report from Audit Scotland’s Account Commission found that local authorities in Scotland face a complex range of challenges and continuing pressure on finance.

In 2017/18, funding from the Scottish government reduced by 2.3% in real terms.

This reduction was largely offset by increases in council tax and councils’ fee income, with most councils applying the maximum 3% increase to council tax.  

However, the report warns that there will be further funding reductions in the medium term, which will be made worse by the continued increase in demand on services and uncertainty due to Brexit.

The report noted that in 2017/18 councils used savings and reserves to manage budgeted funding gaps of 4%.

It also found that 24 local authorities increased council tax, while in the current year, all 32 have done this.

Overall rises in spending on education and social work were offset by reductions in other services.

‘Councils did a good job last year in managing resources as budgets are tightened and demands on them rise,’ said Graham Sharp, chair of the Accounts Commission.

‘The position varies from council to council but there is clearly need for continuing change in the way services are provided. It's not been easy but the pressure on them — and the key services we all rely on — shows no signs of easing.’

For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Social Worker - Adult Social Care (CLDT)

Bolton Council
This is a permanent Social Work role in Adult Social Care. Bolton, Greater Manchester
Recuriter: Bolton Council

Principal Programme Officer

Bolton Council
Do you enjoy variety and change? Can you keep your eye on the detail whilst also thinking strategically? Bolton, Greater Manchester
Recuriter: Bolton Council

IDT Junior Developer

Telford & Wrekin Council
£28,226 - £30,095
Telford & Wrekin Council are seeking an enthusiastic and highly motivated Junior Developer. Telford, Shropshire
Recuriter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Activities Leader (Outdoor Adventurous Activities)

Leicestershire County Council
Lead activities and ensure that delivery of programmes are of a high standard. Leicester, Leicestershire
Recuriter: Leicestershire County Council

Transition Support Worker (Complex Needs)

Leicestershire County Council
This is an exciting opportunity for to work with an experienced team delivering high quality learning opportunities and care. Leicester, Leicestershire
Recuriter: Leicestershire County Council

Partner Content

Circular highways is a necessity not an aspiration – and it’s within our grasp

Shell is helping power the journey towards a circular paving industry with Shell Bitumen LT R, a new product for roads that uses plastics destined for landfill as part of the additives to make the bitumen.

Support from Effective Energy Group for Local Authorities to Deliver £430m Sustainable Warmth Funded Energy Efficiency Projects

Effective Energy Group is now offering its support to the 40 Local Authorities who have received a share of the £430m to deliver their projects on the ground by surveying properties and installing measures.

Pay.UK – the next step in Bacs’ evolution

Dougie Belmore explains how one of the main interfaces between you and Bacs is about to change.