William Eichler 14 September 2017

Scottish parliamentary committee to review council spending

A review of how local authorities in Scotland prioritise spending and assess the impact of increased charges was launched today by the Scottish parliament.

The parliament's Local Government and Communities Committee will look into local government spending ahead of its scrutiny of the Scottish government's draft budget 2018/19.

It will study a range of areas, including changes to the charges for burial services, local authority gyms and access to public toilets. It will also consider the ways in which local government finances evolve over time.

‘We know that local governments have been facing financial challenges for a long time because of growing demands on their services and significant revenue budget cuts, as part of UK-wide reductions in public sector budgets,’ said the committee convener, Bob Doris MSP.

‘We want to ensure that a fully transparent position of local government finances can be established, which takes into account other funding streams within councils such as Pupil Equity Funds, Health and Social Care Integration funds and City Deal resources.’

‘While local authorities have been making savings over previous years, the future shape of the local government settlement is changing and this may pose a level of uncertainty they’ve not previously had to cope with,’ Mr Doris continued.

‘We now want to hear from the public, local authorities and stakeholder groups on what areas local governments are currently prioritising and whether resources are managed effectively.’

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