01 June
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The Scottish Government's Review sets out high level budget allocations for all Scottish councils and other public bodies. West Lothian Council receives 80% of their funding direct from the Scottish Government.

West Lothian Council has already delivered savings of over £150 million since 2007 and estimate that approximately £45 million of further budget reductions will be required over the next five years.

The Leader of West Lothian Council has warned that local authorities and customers are facing more uncertainty in the years ahead with more reductions forecast. 

Leader of West Lothian Council Lawrence Fitzpatrick said:

"We have said for years that the position councils have been forced into is gravely concerning; both for the council as a whole and for local people who rely and demand good quality services.  The Scottish Government's Resource Spending Review sets out the serious challenges that lie ahead for local authorities across Scotland.

"Let's not shy away from the facts here. This has been a prolonged, sustained and systematic decline in funding for local services for local people over the past 15 years.

"Demand for our services is growing and becoming more and more important to local people; this has only become more apparent over the past two years.

"At the same time, we're being asked to deliver more services with less budget from the Scottish Government.  

"Councils are legally required to balance our budgets each year and that is combined with growing demand, higher costs and, critically, less funding.

"Tough decisions have been forced upon us and services will change further in the years ahead. Unless adequate levels of funding are given to councils, local services for the people of West Lothian will be impacted on by this continued reduction in our budget, year after year.

"Council Tax is important, but we receive 80% of our funding direct from the Scottish Government, with Council Tax making up the remaining 20%.  What is required is more funding from the Government being given to local councils for local services. Not the top down, centralising approach that has sadly become the norm in Scotland.

"Over the past fifteen years, successive council administrations have navigated the council through extremely challenging times and we will continue to take a prudent approach to financial planning and plan for the long term.

"The council needs to plan for an extremely challenging financial position over the next five years, and local groups and individuals will have their opportunity to help shape the future delivery of local services.

"The council will now look to prepare a priority-based revenue financial plan for 2023/24 to 2027/28 and set out how local priorities will be delivered over this period, always aiming for the best possible outcomes for the communities in West Lothian."