Grant cut to Council budget is anticipated to be severe
Following the COSLA Leaders meeting last Friday, the Leader of Highland Council has warned staff that Local Government could be facing a cash reduction in its Grant of 4-5% for 2016-17.
Current assumptions for the budget were based on a cut of 1.6% and a 4 or 5% cut would be a significantly worse position.
If a 5% reduction were the final position then this Council would have to find additional savings of £15.531million, bringing the total savings for next year alone to some £41million.
Leader of the Council, Cllr Margaret Davidson said: “As we feared, the news of the Local Government Settlement appears to be extremely bad. I would emphasise that this is not the final position that the Scottish Government is considering, but based on indications, the cut in our grants will be even more severe than we anticipated. This would translate into a devastating cut to our budget with a corresponding impact on our services.
“Together with COSLA we will be making representations to the Scottish Government, and we will now have to wait until at least the 16 December before we know the final outcome.
“This reduction is significantly worse than we had assumed. Proposals have already been drawn up for 6% savings across services and clearly we will be considering the potential implications of further service cuts and staff reductions.”