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Residents urged to have say on budget

Published Friday, 08 December 2017

exterior view of council headquaters

Local residents are being urged to have their say on the latest budget proposals from South Lanarkshire Council.

The proposals are designed to try to protect key frontline services as far as possible, despite a warning that as much as £23.529 million will need to be saved from the council’s budget next year.

Pressures continue to rise on public sector budgets, including those of local authorities which have faced increases in costs and in demand for services at a time when funding has declined or remained static. In addition, there have been no rises in locally-set council tax rates for nine years.

As a result of these pressures, South Lanarkshire Council has already been forced to find more than £100m in efficiencies in recent years, and Council Leader John Ross said it was a real challenge to find yet more savings for 2018/19.

Councillor Ross said: “I am grateful that council officers have worked hard to identify potential savings we could make as we set to work ensuring that we meet our requirement to deliver a balanced budget for next year.

“These proposals are now with all councillors for their consideration and I am sure that everyone will have a view about what is acceptable and what is not. However, everyone needs to understand that the budget has to balance so any savings that come out have to be replaced with something else.

“Since we took over in May, the new council administration has been clear that we want to be open and transparent and listen to local people and communities. So I would urge local residents to look at the proposals and give us their views.

“I would also stress that once we have our grant from the government confirmed I would expect that the council will have a budget of around £660m next year, and we will spend that delivering the services that local people need and depend on every day.”

The proposals are included in a report that will be presented to the council’s Executive Committee on 6 December. This will include an estimate of the level of grant the council is expected to receive from the Scottish Government, though the final figure is not expected to be known until later that month.

Residents can get more information on the budget proposals by visiting the council’s website www.southlanarkshire.gov.uk/savings and there is a dedicated email address - savings@southlanarkshire.gov.uk – for the submission of comments and suggestions. Representations will also be welcomed by post:

Savings Consultation
South Lanarkshire Council
Almada Street
Hamilton, ML3 0AA