20 January
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Leader of West Lothian Council, Lawrence Fitzpatrick said: "Year on year cuts to funding for local authorities are severely impacting on the ability of councils to continue to deliver a balanced budget which protects local, public services.

"It is vital that further grant support delivered by the Scottish Government for the benefit of local communities in West Lothian. It is not too late to address this issue and I would implore the Scottish Government to answer the call from Scotland's council leaders.

"Council officers have been busy assessing what impact this settlement will have as work continues on delivering a balance budget for West Lothian.

"It should be noted that while Council Tax is important, it only accounts for about 20% of the council's overall budget. The other 80% of our funding comes from the Scottish Government which is why the funding given to us by Holyrood is so critical to us and why the ongoing underfunding causes such challenges for the council."

West Lothian Council may need to make savings of £12.5 million in 2022/23 following the Scottish Government's draft budget being published.

Scottish Government funding continues to be insufficient to meet increasing costs and demands for services.

It is estimated that between April 2007 and March 2023 West Lothian Council will have made budget savings of £151 million due to prolonged constraints in Scottish Government funding, which equates to over £1,832 per household in West Lothian.

West Lothian will be forced to deliver savings in2022/23 to meet the shortfall in funding and balance the budget - something the council is legally required to do.

Following the Scottish Government draft budget in December, a report to the Council Executive has set out that councils across Scotland are now facing deeper real terms cuts than originally thought.  

The budget gap in West Lothian will increase 2022/23 following analysis of the Scottish Governments draft budget paper.

The projected budget gap considers required levels of investment on key service areas such as education and social care and also factors in an assumed council tax increase of 3% as per the long-term forecast approved at the council's last budget setting meeting in 2021.

Council officers will continue to assess the outcome of the detailed local government finance settlement and the Head of Finance and Property Services will update the council's revenue and capital budgets ahead of the council's budget setting meeting in February where the annual budget and council tax levels for 2022/23 will be set.