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South Ayrshire Council Budget Consultation - Now Open

Budget Consultation 24/25

South Ayrshire Council has launched a new budget consultation ahead of the 2024/25 budget, which will be set on Thursday 29 February.  

The consultation is now live and will remain open until Sunday 30 June. This will allow residents to have their say and provide suggestions on ways we can increase income, reduce costs and achieve savings over the next three years. 

The Council is reliant on funding from two main sources - Council tax, which makes up 20% of our income, and a block grant from the Scottish Government which makes up 78% of our overall budget. We also use around 2% of our reserve funds to support our local spend. 

Like all local authorities, we can't control the amount of funding that comes from the Scottish Government. This funding is strongly driven by the impact of national policy and commitments. This means that an increasing portion of Council budgets is ring-fenced to drive national policy initiatives, and for the protection of services like education and health and social care. 

In December 2023, we received notification about our block grant from the Scottish Government for 2024-25, and unfortunately it is not enough to cover our current spend plus expected rising costs. As a result, we need to look for new ways to reduce costs and generate more income.  

The consultation is now open here https://www.south-ayrshire.gov.uk/budget-consultation24-25  

Councillor Ian Davis, South Ayrshire Council's Portfolio Holder for Finance, HR and ICT said: "Alongside rising costs, the block grant we receive each year from the Scottish Government to fund and deliver our vital public services is continually decreasing, so we need to make substantial savings in the coming years.   

"We expect that we need to save around twenty-nine million pounds over the next three years, rising to nearly forty-six million pounds over five years. I'd like to reassure residents that we will prioritise protecting our vital services, but we do need to focus on generating more income. This aligns with the feedback from last year's budget consultation, where a larger proportion of people said they would prefer price increases for services rather than service reductions or cuts.  

"In addition to agreeing savings that will impact on 2024-25, as part of the budget this year, we will consider a programme of activities designed to address the savings targets over the next two years. 

"Once the budget is approved on Thursday 29 February, a list of the proposed activities will be published and the consultation will remain open so residents can have their say on the plans that are being developed."