Councillors get budget shortfall update

Initial indications suggest Midlothian Council is still facing a budget shortfall of £13.281 million after the Scottish Government’s provisional grant funding announcement for local authorities on Thursday.

The final grant settlement is still being worked out

At the full council meeting on Tuesday, councillors heard that while Midlothian’s final share of the settlement for local authorities is still being worked out, it is estimated that the council will still face a budget shortfall of over £13 million in 2018/19.

We have been talking to residents about the proposals

Midlothian Council Leader, Councillor Derek Milligan said: “We’ve been engaging with local residents on dramatic savings proposals which will potentially have a devastating impact on our communities.

The settlement is a cut of 1.5% nationally

“The grant settlement, while slightly better than anticipated, still represents a cash reduction for local government of 1.5%. This is a £153 million reduction across the country at a time when demand for services is increasing and against a backdrop of increase cost pressures arising from the governments pay policy.

Cuts in vital services will be needed

“While a minimum increase of 3% for those public sector workers earning less than £30,000 is to be welcomed, without government funding it will require cuts in other vital services to balance the budget.

We will continue to listen to communities

“The main deadline for feedback has just closed, though we will continue to listen to our communities, initial findings confirm that local people are worried about libraries, music tuition, bus services and a host of other potential cuts.

We need to agree a balanced budget

“Even taking those savings, proposed by council officers, into account, there’s still a budget gap projected for next financial year so a lot of work has to be done to put forward a balanced budget for next financial year.”

 

 

19 Dec 2017