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Council respond to Scottish Government draft budget allocations

Commenting following the individual allocations, from the draft Scottish Government Budget, for each of Scotland's 32 councils yesterday (Monday) a West Lothian Council spokesperson said:

18 December
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A WLC spokesperson said: "The budget announced by the Scottish Government provides a significant cash cut in revenue funding for councils in 2019/20 and is deeply worrying for local services.


"Whilst there are lots of facts and figures in the public domain, The Scottish Parliament's own, independent, Information Centre has stated that the core settlement available to local authorities, specifically the non-ring-fenced funding available for councils to deliver services, falls by 1.7% (-£157.2 million) in cash terms, or 3.4% (-£319.1 million) in real terms between 2018-19 and 2019-20 alone."


"If the Scottish Government does not increase the proposed settlement for councils, it will inevitably lead to larger cuts in much needed local services and a reduction in jobs within councils. It is essential that the Scottish Government listens to councils, members of the public and COSLA and improves this draft settlement for local government.


"It is disappointing that the funding has only been provided for a single year as this does not help the council with long-term plans. In accordance with best practice, West Lothian Council has a five-year plan in place, which already requires savings of £65 million to be made due to Scottish Government funding not being sufficient to cover the cost of delivering essential services. We are trying our best to plan for the future but the Scottish Government's short term approach and cuts do not help.


Council Leader Lawrence Fitzpatrick described the Scottish Government's announcement as 'appalling'. He said: "The Scottish Parliament's own independent SPICe report is clear. This is a substantial real terms cut for councils in Scotland and the Scottish Government's draft budget is appalling news for our staff and our communities.  


"The Scottish Government must improve this settlement or face the prospect of vital local services diminishing further. I can assure local residents that the council will continue to demand a better settlement for West Lothian from the Scottish Government. We hope that the Scottish Government will listen."



Council Tax makes up less than 20% of WLC's budget. 80% of our funding is provided by the Scottish Government.

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