Mark Whitehead 29 November 2016

Scottish councils facing financial shortfalls warns watchdog

Councils in Scotland have managed their finances well but face big challenges ahead, spending watchdogs have warned.

In its annual review, the Accounts Commission, which oversees Scottish local authorities' financial management, said councils had remained within their overall budgets, increased their reserves slightly and reduced their debt in 2015/16.

But it said all councils face financial shortfalls requiring further savings or using reserves and they need to 'change the way they work' if they are to make the spending reductions required.

Income from the Scottish Government, which provides around 60% of councils' total funding had fallen by 8.4% in real terms over the past six years.

The commission warns that further reductions are expected while demand on key services, particularly social care, continues to rise. Councils also face increased cost pressures in areas such as pension provision.

The commission's deputy chair Ronnie Hinds said: 'Councils are generally doing a good job with their finances in difficult circumstances.

'But pressures continue to increase on a number of fronts at the same time as they face the prospect of further reductions in their funding.

'It's vital that councillors and officers set medium and long-term financial plans based on clear priorities for the services they provide to their communities.'

For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Marketing and Recruitment Officer (Adoption)

Bolton Council
You will be passionate about promoting adoption to attract prospective adopters. Bolton, Greater Manchester
Recuriter: Bolton Council

Assistant ICT Solutions Partner

Bolton Council
At Bolton Council we have an excellent opportunity for someone to join the team. Bolton, Greater Manchester
Recuriter: Bolton Council

Head of Technology

Bolton Council
Are you a senior ICT professional looking to make your next career move. Bolton, Greater Manchester
Recuriter: Bolton Council

Senior Business Change Officer

South Derbyshire District Council
£28,226 - £30,984
A fantastic opportunity to join an ambitious and transforming Council. Swadlincote, Derbyshire
Recuriter: South Derbyshire District Council

Service Director - Community Development

South Gloucestershire Council
Recuriter: South Gloucestershire 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.