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Budget consultation 2024-25

We're looking for your feedback in our budget consultation. Please take the time to read the information below before having your say.

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.

With nearly four fifths of our net revenue funding coming from the Scottish Government, it means that we have an ever-decreasing portion of the block grant that we can use to fund and deliver our vital public services in line with our local priorities.

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 now need to look for new ways to reduce costs and generate more income.

Before the block grant announcement, we approved a Medium-Term Financial Plan that details the income and expenditure the Council is anticipating over the next five years, based on a number of assumptions.

In the plan, we expect to have to save nearly twenty-nine million pounds over the next three years, rising to nearly forty-six million pounds over five years.

We expect to pay less in staff costs in the next two years because of changes in pension contribution rates in 2024-25 and 2025-26. This has limited the amount of savings required in the first two years of the plan, however this is only a temporary fix, as the pension contribution rates are expected to revert back to close to previous levels by 2026-27.

The change to pension costs means that the focus on savings this year will be around 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.  

However, going forward, the scale of the savings we need to make over the next three to five years means that we will need to examine everything we do so we can reduce our costs.

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 this consultation will remain open so you can have your say on the plans that are being developed.

No final decision on these proposed activities will be made now. More work will take place over the next two years and any final decisions on whether these proposed activities will be approved will be at a future date. We'll keep you informed of when this is likely to happen.

For now, we're looking for you to have your say and make suggestions on what types of activities we could carry out to reduce costs, increase income, and ultimately save money.

Submit consultation response

Closing date 30 June 2024.